Let's Talk Trash: Garburator vs. compostor

Some food-waste disposal options more green-friendly than others

When faced with the green dilemma of where to toss leftover food scraps or the science projects at the back of the fridge, a handy garburator that flushes away the evidence can be tempting, but is it truly an eco-friendly option?

Most of us are now tuned into the truth that composting is a far more responsible way to deal with kitchen scraps than the garbage can. Landfills are anaerobic environments where food scraps are not converted into nutrients for microorganisms in the soil. Instead, they become methane gas, which is known to be, at minimum, 25 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

article continues below

On a blustery winter night, however, making the trek to the backyard composter may decrease even the most well-meaning person’s motivation.

Before easing your conscience with the notion that a garburator is “feeding the fish,” consider a few things.

Each time a garburator is turned on, it requires electricity and water. While we live in a temperate rainforest, it still takes energy to transport the water to our homes.

Once macerated into tiny bits and flushed down the drain, garburated food ends up at our wastewater treatment plant. Contrary to popular belief, this facility is not set up to handle large volumes of this type of waste. Any amount of it taxes the machinery.

Food waste is also rich in nutrients, which feed algae in the ocean, leading to algae blooms, and dreaded eutrophication, where a blanket of algae prevents sunlight from penetrating the water’s surface, essentially choking out all sea life.

If your household does not compost at home, there is still the option to collect food scraps in a bucket and drop them off at the Town Centre recycling depot Monday to Saturday, 8 am-5:30 pm, for free disposal.

Better yet, do your best to avoid unnecessary food waste in your kitchen by designating an “eat me first” shelf in your fridge.

Let’s Talk Trash is Powell River Regional District’s waste-management education program.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Powell River Peak welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Community Event Calendar


Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.