The most ‘wasteful’ time of year: How holiday food waste can fuel farms and a cleaner atmosphere

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Imagine you just finished your holiday dinner. You’ve got lots of leftovers. That food waste – imagine it goes into a bucket and that bucket goes to a facility where that food waste is made into nutrient-rich soil.

The soil is great for gardens and great for farmers. The best part is that food waste does not clog up landfills.

It’s as easy as just picking up your bucket.

Crown Town Compost owners Eric Theis and Kris Steele are passionate about stopping the waste.

“Making healthy food is then making healthy people, kind of a complete circle,” they said. Their goal is to close the loop.

And that’s not only good for the health of our kiddos, but also the health of our land. Experts say our soil grows more and more tired with every layer of nutrients that get tilled off the top. Steele said that if the soil is not replenished, it’s putting the futures of farmers and their families on the line.

Recycling waste also replenishes our atmosphere. While we often blame transportation for emissions, nearly 30 percent of methane emissions come from landfills and poor manure management.

About 40 percent of food – more than $100 billion worth – just rots in those landfills each year, emitting those harmful greenhouse gases. Composting leftovers can change that.

“By introducing oxygen and breaking that down naturally and putting that back in the soil, you’re actually pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it in the ground,” said Theis.

The EPA’s resolution of the decade is to cut food waste in half by the 2030 ball drop, and Crown Town Compost wants to help throw the confetti.

“Charlotte has a zero-waste policy by 2050, and so we wanted to contribute any way we could,” Theis added.

“You get to a point where you realize you’re lucky, and you can give back and so that was a big piece for us,” said Steele.

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