Image Courtesy of ArlingtonTimes.com
Businesses in Arlington, Washington are now able to save some money by sending their compostable organic material to a large-scale composting center. The center has a lower rate for collections, and businesses can escape the 3.6% Washington state refuse tax since compost is considered a recyclable material.
So that’s all well and good, but how much compostable material is being produced from these businesses? A typical restaurant’s waste consists of 65% compostable organic material, 30% recyclables (glass, tin, cardboard, etc), and only 5% garbage. Only 5% of a restaurant’s waste actually needs to be thrown away. 95% of it can be re-used in some way.
Restaurants aren’t the only target of this program. The city is hoping to get grocery stores, coffee shops, cafeterias and school kitchens, and even hospitals to sign up for the program.
Cascade Valley Hospital signed up and, after an audit, went from only recycling cardboard to recycling almost every form of waste they had – cardboard, paper, glass, metal, plastic, and food waste.
A company in the area, The Markets LLC, has calculated that it has reduced its landfill use by 50% in its stores.
The city of Arlington is less than 10 square miles in area. Imagine if a program like theirs was adopted in a larger, more developed city like San Diego. It would be a step towards achieving sustainability and reducing our use of landfills.
Here’s the original article.
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