State Encouraging Better Uses for Food Waste

Aug 13, 2012

North Carolina is hoping to find better uses for discarded food. A new study from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources finds that residents and businesses generate over a million tons of food waste a year. Scott Mouw is director of the state recycling program.

Scott Mouw: We now should turn our attention to diverting that material from landfills and to other kinds of uses, whether it's using the food for donation to food banks, or to composting, or to other uses that may eventually turn into energy like in anaerobic digestion.

Mouw says food makes up 12% of waste in North Carolina, and as it biodegrades in landfills it releases greenhouse gases including methane. The state is helping businesses that collect food waste to expand, and encouraging restaurants and grocery stores to use them. Mouw says he expects some municipalities to start offering residential food waste collection within three years