Your Green Life: Food Waste

By KBJR News 1

March 7, 2013 Updated Mar 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM CDT

Duluth, MN( NNCNOW.COM) --- The average American tosses 20 lbs of food waste into the garbage on a monthly basis.

Although not everything can be easily composted at home, there are steps you can take.

"Any kinds of fruits or vegetables, you can also do bread. What you want to avoid composting would be those things that would make bad smells in your back yards," said Environmental Project Coordinator Susan Darley-Hill.

Meats, cheeses, and bones are things you probably don't want in your at home composter.

But what is so bad about throwing food in a landfill to rot anyways?

"That kind of degradation yields a greenhouse gas, methane, which is more potent than the carbon dioxide that's put off from regular composting," said Darley-Hill.

Food also takes up space and takes much needed nutrients out of the natural circulation.

The sustainable practice of reducing your food waste can not only be practiced in the kitchen of your own home, but also in the kitchen of restaurants on a much larger scale. Huh, that looks good.

Tom Hanson of the Duluth Grill knows plenty about food waste.

"There's pre-consumer and post-consumer and the pre consumer is what we do in our prep kitchen before product goes out to the customer. The post-consumer is what is on the plate coming back from the customer," said Hanson.

Hanson has more composting bins in his kitchen at the Duluth Grill than garbage bins. Anything that can be composed, from scraps from prep to your left overs are composted.

"We have 24 yards of waste per week, and within that waste we sort it into recycling, composting and landfill trash. And so two thirds of all of our trash goes to recycling and composting," said Hanson.

Sue from WLSSD told us that they receive about 32-hundred tons of compostable waste a year that they process and turn into some of the best compost you can buy.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch