Food is the largest category of items found in municipal landfills across the United States which emit methane and further contributes to total greenhouse gas emissions. In order to combat this, we must approach a more sustainable management of food through reducing excessive purchase of food, properly recovering edible food for people, and recycling inedible food through composting programs.
Reducing Food Waste
The average U.S. household throws away one quarter of all the food it purchases, wasting almost $1,600 per year. Food waste cost families a significant amount of money and wastes valuable resources that went into producing the food. Smart purchasing, storing and distribution of food helps to alleviate the amount of food waste that ends up in the landfill. Check out our SMART tips for preventing food waste here.
City-led Composting Services
Finished compost is broken down matter usually made from kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, or other organic materials. Composting helps to divert waste from the landfill while regenerating soils.
The City of Flagstaff does not currently offer a city-wide composting pick-up service. However, we have several programs in place that offer free food scrap drop-off options:
Community Compost Hubs
Our community compost hubs are one of several options the City has for residential composting. Hub locations are currently housed at the city-sponsored community gardens. These 3-bin systems are available to the public for drop off of acceptable items spring-fall. All of our bins are stewarded by volunteers in the community and finished compost is available periodically to those that assist with monthly maintenance. Learn more here.
Residential Food Scraps Drop-off
The Sustainability Office provides two free year-round food scrap drop off stations throughout Flagstaff. May-October there are an additional two weekly staffed drop-off booths that provide direct education to the community on composting and its benefits. This program seeks to advance the City's Rethink Waste Plan and Carbon Neutrality goals through food waste minimization. Learn more here.
Composting at Home
Recycling organic materials in your own backyard can be an easy with the proper materials and knowledge. Below are several helpful links for getting started.
Interested in creating your own compost system at home? Apply for our new rebate program on home composters by clicking here.