State and local governments across the United States are beginning to divert waste from landfills and promote organic composting.
In 2010, 97% of America's 35 million tons of food waste went into landfills, while more than 60% of yard trim got recycled.
Waste management policy varies across communities in the U.S. The City of San Francisco has set out to achieve net zero waste by 2020, charging businesses and residents according to the amount of waste they produce. Since October 2011, Portland, Oregon has reduced its waste collection by 40%, picking up organic waste, including food, once a week and all other trash once every two weeks.
Driven by public policy and consumer demand for greener waste disposal, private waste management companies have begun divesting themselves from landfills and incineration sites and investing in recycling companies like Massachusetts-based Harvest Power, which converts solid organic waste into high quality soil or energy.
Smaller ventures like Washington, DC-based Compost Cab charge residents directly to collect their food waste and divert it to local gardeners and farms for composting.
Brenda Platt, who advocates composting for the DC-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, believes that interest in recycling food waste is growing but that finding local composting sites is a challenge.
Of the nation's food retailers, Safeway has launched its own composting program: Safeway stores across the East Coast send their flower stems, coffee grinds and food waste to a return center in Upper Marlborough, MD, which then ships the remains to composting sites 100 miles away in Delaware and Virginia.
Decomposing food waste in landfills contributes to 16% of methane greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., so municipalities and state governments are phasing in bans on food waste disposal despite the challenges of finding composting sites and reeducating the general population.
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’
A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Newark Kicks Off $1 Home Sale Program
The city sold seven properties as part of an effort to revive blighted sites and encourage housing production.
Micromobility Operators Call for Better Links to Transit
For shared mobility to succeed, systems must tap into the connectivity and funding potential offered by closer collaboration with public transit.
Retaining Transit Workers Is About More Than Wages
An analysis of California transit employees found a high rate of burnout among operators who face unpredictable work schedules, high housing costs, and occasional violence.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
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