Most of the food and leftovers created during the holidays never gets eaten. Almost all of it ends up in the trash and subsequently, landfills. “Over 70 billion pounds of food waste reaches our landfills every year, contributing to methane emissions and wasting energy and resources across the food supply chain,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This holiday season, we must all do our part to help people and the environment by preparing only what we need, cutting down our food waste, and sharing or donating what we can to feed others.”
We share four tips that are easy to execute to help reduce holiday food waste.
- Donate — Donate your extra canned or unopened perishable food to your local food banks and community centers. According to the USDA, 10.2 percent (13.5 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2021. Most food pantries and homeless shelters will not accept prepared food due to safety reasons.
- Freeze — We recommend freezing any premade food. When food is frozen, it can extend the ‘shelf life’ of the food considerably. Depending on the type of food, the quality of the frozen food typically declines after 2-4 months.
- Reuse — Most foods can be repurposed into new dishes. Used vegetables or stem and head scraps can be used as soup stock or pureed into sauces.
- Recycle — Food scraps and waste that cannot be donated, eated, or reused should be recycled through composting programs. Food that ends up in the landfill will rot and release methane gas into the atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, the effects of methane are 87 times worse than that of carbon dioxide.
Holiday food waste disposal
Although other forms of waste disposal such as grinders, dehydrators, and compactors may be better alternatives to landfills, they still come with their own unique set of pros and cons. Composting is still the best solution with minimal impact on the environment.
Not all food waste can be composted equally. Certain foods cannot be composted as advised by the EPA. Dairy products, meat scraps, and fish bones should not composted as it
Highly acidic foods such as tomato, pickled products, and citruses will kill the bacteria that break down waste in the compost pile.
Businesses with high volumes of waste that cannot be composted should utilize alternative methods such as repurposing waste into animal feed or decomposition through other methods..
Many businesses opt to use onsite biodigesters due to the costs of labor for handling, transporting, and storing waste. The LFC biodigester is a food waste digester that can easily fit in a kitchen and is able to digest even acidic foods. For example, an LFC biodigester is eating the citrus peels that come from the tasting room and bar at Montanya Rum. The biodigester can also digest dairy products, meat scraps, and small fish bones without issue. This holiday season, Power Knot headquarters will be open for food waste drop off. See the following list for types of organic waste that can be accepted.
All food waste and scraps must be brought in a bucket without any single use plastics. Contact Power Knot today to schedule a time to see the biodigester in action and sustainably digest your food waste.