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An article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal on reducing environmental impact through use of a garbage disposal got us thinking about the various options for managing your organic waste (n.b. you’ll need a subscription in order to read the entire article). There are garbage disposals, yes, but also composting. If you’ve been looking for ways to reduce waste in your household but have felt intimidated by getting started, now’s your chance! Today’s the day to begin.
Garbage Disposal: The above-mentioned article points out that environmental engineers and local government planners around the world are starting to acknowledge the positive benefits of disposing of organic waste through the water system rather than sending it to the landfill. They even cite a model project in Malmo Sweden that doen’t use the sewage system but rather a special organic waste system that turns food into methane, which can then be used to produce power.
Backyard Composting: If it’s just yard waste you’re looking to manage, you can simply put it in a pile and nature will take its course. If it’s food scraps you’d like to compost, you’ve got to build or buy a structure for it, or critters will show up to make themselves a feast. You can find some helpful instructions here at the City of Davis’ website.

Urban Composting: What if you don’t have a backyard? Here in NYC, you can bring your food scraps to various farmers’ markets. When you have food scraps, put them in plastic bags in your freezer to keep the from decomposing, and when your freezer gets too full, you can bring them to the market, or to other drop-off locations, such as community gardens, ecology centers, urban farms, etc. Another option? Vermiculture–yup, worms. Read more about this here.