Food system contamination, examining what’s going into anaerobic digestion or composting systems
April 26, 2021
When excess food at any stage of the food system can’t be diverted to people in need, the next best option is to feed it to animals. Even with the best systems in place to develop an efficient food system, there will always be some fraction that is not fit for consumption. This material should be recycled and reused to minimize the environmental burden and allow for recovery of part of the resources initially used in its production, processing and transport, creating a more circular food system.
In a circular system, food waste is recycled by treatment to stabilize it, anaerobic digestion and composting are common food waste treatment technologies used to stabilize waste and produce residual materials that can replenish the soil, thus contributing to a circular food system. While a circular system uses resources more efficiently, the approach is not without risk. The authors of this paper investigated heavy metals, halogenated organic compounds, foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the food system and their fates during digestion and composting.
While not impossible to mitigate, design, planning, and waste characterization play tremendous roles in sustainable systems.
Everyone knows about recycling, especially if you work at SCS. Many times, there are different ways that you can reuse those items for something else before, or instead of, getting rid of them. Today, we are sharing easy zero waste tips to repurpose items you have around your house, rather than just tossing them in the recycle bin:
Roll up a couple of these and stick one into each of your calf- or knee-high boots so the footwear will keep its shape and save room in your closet.
Empty Paper Towel Rolls
Flatten it, and use it to sheathe a knife kept in a drawer. Bonus health and safety points!
Small Glass Food Jars
These make perfect see-through storage vessels for nails, screws, bolts, safety pins, paper clips, change… even small earrings or spare buttons.
Old Shower Curtains
Stash one in your car’s trunk to line it when carrying potentially messy paints, plants, or picnic and beach gear during the summer.
Used Coffee Grounds
Spread them over flower beds of acid-craving plants like azaleas or rhododendrons in your garden.
Keep the containers from your favorite yogurt, margarine, peanut butter, etc. so they can be rinsed and reused as a travel dish for pets, craft supply storage, or for storing leftovers and bringing your lunch to the office, instead of purchasing additional plastic storage containers.
Gallon Milk Jugs
Cut off the top with a utility knife just above the handle and use as a scoop for kitty litter, bird seed, potting soil, etc.
Foam Packing Peanuts
Put some in the bases of potted plants to help drainage.
Plastic Mesh Produce Bags
Turn it into a no-scratch scrubber for a gunky pot or pan. Ball up the bag, scour, then throw the whole mess away.
Silica Gel Packets
These can be used to keep moisture away from so many things. Put them in your car’s storage compartments to avoid mildew, in your toolbox to prevent tools from rusting, on windowsills in the kitchen to banish condensation, inside the drawer with your silver or jewelry box to slow down tarnishing, tuck a few into your luggage, boxes of holiday decorations, or in the box with your family photos to protect them from humidity and mildew.