We noticed that the food waste is not separated from other waste thus causing more pressure on resources.
The lack of natural resources
Although food waste is organic and will generally decompose, when mixed with other materials and put into landfill, food waste can contribute to the production and release of harmful gases which potentially cause environmental damage. However, by composting your food waste, you can actually use it to put goodness back into the earth.
In 2003-2004, 72% of municipal waste in England ended up in landfill sites. The organic materials within a landfill are the main source of methane in England (a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming, 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide) and, they produce a liquid called leachate, which may enter and contaminate water supplies. The alternative to landfill, incineration, whilst reducing the mass of the waste, does not dispose of it altogether; approximately 30% of the original mass remains, it still needs to be landfilled, and is still a waste of resources.
The creation of compost from organic household waste helps the government achieve its target of recycling 33% of all domestic waste by 2015 . Individual households can help reach this target by either making their own compost or by participating in a centralised community scheme. In 2003 - 2004 compostable waste was the most popular material collected for recycling, making up 30% of recyclables collected. The success of both home composting and centralised schemes is dependent upon the separation of organic (putrescible) waste from other waste.
In the UK around 30 million tonnes of domestic refuse is produced each year, which contains on average about 38% organic content, such as vegetable peelings, tea bags and food scraps
The London Borough of Sutton currently offers residents on their wheeled bin system, the opportunity to receive compost makers (the worm bin, green cone, rotol converter) for free to encourage home composting.
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council operates a recycling compound for converting green waste into compost. The council is offering householders the opportunity to purchase AssiDomän Sacks' biodegradable paper sacks so that the green waste can be collected in dedicated vehicles and transported directly to the compound for composting.
· Proper nutrient mix, or carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) is important for bacteria to process organic material into compost. The optimum ratio to begin composting is 30:1. If the ratio increases decomposition is slowed, if the ratio decreases foul odors and nitrogen loss can occur. Food waste is typically 15:1, fruit waste 35:1, leaves 60:1, bark 100:1, and sawdust 500:1.
·A moisture content of 60 percent is optimal for microorganisms to breakdown the compost. Moisture contents above 70 percentcreate anaerobic conditions, slow down the process and can create foul odors. Moisture below 50 percent also slows down the decomposition process. The moisture content of fresh food waste is 80 to 90 percent, sawdust is 25 percent, and yard waste is 70 percent.
· Aeration or oxygen is essential for optimum microorganism populations to effectively breakdown the composting material. This can be done by turning, mixing, the use of blowers, fans, aeration tubes, aeration holes, or raising the compost off the ground.
· Particle size can affect the rate of decomposition of compost. The smaller the particles the more aeration the compost receives and microorganisms can break down smaller pieces faster. This can be accomplished by shredding, chipping, chopping, or cutting composted materials before they enter the compost pile.
· PH levels from 6.0 to 7.8 are considered high quality compost. Proper C:N ratios should create optimum pH levels. Starting with a fairly neutral pH will ensure high levels of microorganisms for efficient decomposition.
· Temperature of the compost is important while biological activity takes place in the decomposition process. Low outside temperature slow down the process, while warmer conditions speed up the process.