The Impact of Food Waste

Jul 12, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Including all sources --institutional, commercial and residential-- food that’s thrown away is the largest component of what goes to landfills, responsible for at least twenty percent.  You might think that’s just wasteful but actually there are disposal costs.  From the standpoint of air quality and climate change, that food becomes a large factor in the emission of the greenhouse gas methane. When landfills are filled, permitting and construction costs for new disposal facilities are passed on to us, the consumers of these spaces. Harvesting, processing, and packing the food and delivering it, perhaps by refrigerated trucks, to the grocery store all have costs as does the price of hauling discarded food to the landfill. We consumers are the major contributors to this glut of food waste, throwing away an average of twenty pounds per month per person.