KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More people looking to help the environment are turning to a different form of trash collection.
Compost Collective KC tells FOX4 they’re seeing more people pay to have food waste like food scraps, coffee grounds, and banana peels collected to be turned into nutrient-rich soil, even though it costs money every month for the pick-up, and requires them to separate those items out of their garbage.
For composters like Jamie Middleton, it still is worth the effort.
“We’re using our banana peels and food waste for something rather than just going into the landfill,” said Middleton.
What’s collected at Middleton’s home is taken to Urbavore Urban Farm, where compost from 2,000 metro households is turned into roughly 10,000 pounds of nutrient-rich soil for the 13-acre farm.
Dan Heryer runs the operation and says traditional garbage collection is so easy and inexpensive for so many people, “but we don’t consider where that trash goes or what the environmental consequence of that is,” said Heryer.
The Environmental Protection Agency says more than half of our left over or old food goes to landfills while only about four percent of it gets composted.
In a landfill, Heryer points out that it can’t properly decompose and only releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere while taking up space. When it’s composted it gets put back into efforts to grow gardens and crops.
One big barrier to participation can be the cost.
Composted soil is generally more expensive than what can be bought at local hardware stores even though that soil might not help plants grow as much as composted soil can.
It means right not, families like Middleton’s do it for other reasons, like teaching the next generation environmentally friendly habits.
“So I think teaching the kids makes it really important for me to keep doing it so they know, and they get excited about it,” said Middleton.
People who sign up get two free bags of composted soil for their own use. If you’re interested in working with Compost Collective KC, click here.