The thing about organic waste
Have you heard of organic waste? Many people believe that because it sounds natural, it must be okay, right? Unfortunately, even organic waste can cause problems when not dealt with in the right manner.
According to the government's Living Greener initiative, about two thirds of waste sent to landfill is organic. That means things like food scraps, paper and garden waste.
This material doesn't simply degrade in landfill without causing any problems. As it decomposes it produces what is called 'landfill gas' containing over 50 per cent methane.
You might know that methane is one of the culprits of climate change. It's a greenhouse gas even more damaging than the infamous carbon dioxide.
What about me?
First of all, make efforts to reduce the waste that you produce. Just as eco friendly products reduce the need to buy single-use plastic items, there are ways to waste less actual food.
Freeze any leftover food for later rather than throwing it away. Australians end up wasting around 30 per cent of food that's purchased – amounting to unnecessary pressure on bank balances and the environment!
For example, in New South Wales, the average household spends over $1,000 on about 315 kilograms of food that goes to waste each year. It's a weighty and expensive problem.
So instead of all your hard-earned money going to waste along with the food, how about creating a compost pile? Anything that is a scrap, such as mandarin peel, can be composted in your backyard. If you don't have much outdoor room, or you live in an apartment without green space, you can even create a miniature compost system in your own kitchen.
Encourage friends and family to do the same. The less organic waste that heads to landfill, the better for the planet – and for the people living on it!