06/28/2013

Editor's Letter

A Big Stink about Composting

By

 

Chris Olson
Chief Content Director

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced an expansion of voluntary composting programs that, ultimately, will become compulsory. When that message hit the news websites, it stoked fiery reader comments about government overregulation. Some comments likened the composting program to Bloomberg’s attempt to ban the largest servings of soft drinks, the proposed law that Sarah Palin mocked by drinking from a Big Gulp while speaking at a podium. Other skeptics questioned the city’s ability to manage a composting program given its size, density, and record on garbage disposal.

According to the mayor’s office, pilot composting programs have already had significant success. These include a school program that reduced garbage heading to landfills by 38% and a voluntary program for restaurants, where it is estimated that as much as 40% of food goes uneaten. Bloomberg has said that about a third of the city’s garbage involves food waste.

The city expects that more than 100 high-rise residential buildings and 150,000 single-family homes will be participating voluntarily by next year, according to The New York Times. City officials say that a mandatory, city-wide composting program could be in place within two to three years.

San Francisco and other cities with large composting programs report that it is far cheaper to compost than to send garbage to landfills, which, in New York’s case, can be as far away as South Carolina. Other benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions at landfills and lower risk of groundwater pollution. Composting also increases awareness of how much food might be saved by changing our habits. Finally, the compost itself has economic value; California vineyards, for example, purchase San Francisco’s compost.

Educating citizens on the benefits and changing their attitude are likely to be keys to success. Many of us can’t help but think about the inconvenience of handling fetid food waste and possibly creating new problems like pest and vermin invasions. The engrained attitude toward garbage – get it out of sight and mind as quickly as possible at any cost – is strong and has been known to move a great deal of earth, if not heaven. In a project once touted as the achievement of a millennium, Chicago undertook an excavation larger than that of the Panama Canal in order to reverse the flow of the Chicago River, sending waste out of sight in the direction of St. Louis since 1900.

The days of such environmentally unfriendly solutions are long gone. We need solutions that reduce cost, add value, and keep disposal closer to the source.

 


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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


 
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