Now that we understand what waste diversion is from my last blog, let’s look at real life examples to understand what WEcycling really is.
In Nevada there are people thinking outside the mindset of most Nevadans and are trying to implement green initiatives. Beyond replacing light bulbs and highly expensive alternative energy plans, organizations and people are beginning to recycle their food waste through waste diversion programs.
WEcycling is the process of brining organizations and people together under one plan to compost the 34% of the MSW that is organic and make it into great soils to help people grow more nutritious food. The key to completing the WEcycle loop is to make sure the consumer is able to obtain these great soils and utilize them to their highest benefit. Lets look at a real life example happening right now in Nevada.
The Costco Corporation took the initiative to cut down their trash bill and also be more environmentally friendly by diverting 70% of each store’s waste from landfills to new reusable processes, including composting. Full Circle Compost was brought into this waste diversion program and has been turning the Carson City Costco’s weekly organic waste into superior soil amendments that go beyond the quality of normal composts.
The process is:
- The Carson City Costco and WEcycle works together to develop a plan for what items can be composted and what items should be recycled or thrown away. “WE” analyze the waste streams from different areas of the store to make sure the organic waste stream is ready for composting. Continual training and analysis continues to happen on a weekly basis.
- The Carson City Costco gathers organic materials in specific bins labeled for compost only products. This includes produce, compostable materials produced by sampling areas, wax paper cardboard, and other regulated materials.
- These materials are all put into a compactor that is then sent to Full Circle Compost on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
- Full Circle Compost uses their 10-week aerobic composting process and specific composting recipes to turn food waste into highly concentrated soil amendments.
- Full Circle then sells this product in bulk to consumers that can then participate in the program. Costco will be displaying this local compost at certain times of the year where Costco consumers can participate in the program and know the “green” hard work that Costco is doing to cut down on their trash footprint.
- Consumers can then grow their own veggie gardens that will yield more nutritious and healthy food for their own consumption. Growing your own produce in great soils made from recycled produce, THIS IS THE COMPLETE WECYCLE PROGRAM.
(Actual results from a backyard garden in Gardnerville, NV using only native soils and high quality organic soil amendments)
This is a real life example happening right now in our local area of businesses trying to make a difference and how composting can change waste diversion to be even more green. Another article about this Costco is available here and details the Full Circle Composting Process: http://studentdev.jour.unr.edu/samanthasmith/?p=28