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Even apples should NOT be sent to landfill and here’s why
It is not okay to send biodegradable waste to landfill. Even apples are hazardous in landfill because when they decompose, they generate methane, one of the more potent greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. The message is clear:
Sending biodegradable waste to landfill contributes to global warming.
SEPA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, recently banned the landfilling of any Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW). They have many good reasons for putting forward this new regulation. One is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and another is to recover the value from these materials by, you guessed it, composting.
Let’s compare these two outcomes for biodegradable or organic waste:
LANDFILL: organic waste + NO oxygen + anaerobic bacteria = CO2 and methane
COMPOSTING: organic waste + oxygen + aerobic bacteria = nutrient-rich compost
Even though the science and impacts are well understood, the UK is still sending an incredible amount of BMW to landfill. The UK Government reported that it sent 6.6 million tonnes in 2019. That’s over half a million double decker buses!!!
Landfill is the least attractive disposal option for organic or biodegradable waste because we lose the opportunity to recover any value from them, for example through composting. The resources on our planet are not infinite and we cannot afford to send anything else to landfill if we can help it. We must keep materials ‘in the loop’ for as long as possible and avoid extracting virgin materials from the natural world.
It is our mission at Green Salon Collective to make sure NO salon waste is ever sent to landfill AND that any biodegradable and compostable waste is being made into nutrient-rich compost for British Agriculture. So go ahead and send us your food waste, your compostable towels and even your hair!
Let’s KILL LANDFILL together!
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References and further reading:
Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s Biodegradable Municipal Waste Landfill Ban
Columbia University News article, Divert Biodegradable Waste From Landfills to Cut Climate-Warming Methane Emissions
The UK Government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs statistical report on waste