A Trip to the Farmer's Market with Smelly Scraps in Tow by Gia Machlin, May 13 2013, 2 Comments
Three years ago (oh my how time flies!!) as I approached my 46th birthday I wrote all about how I was going to get a composter and start composting at home. Well as it turned out, I never got that composter. Not sure if it was the price or space needed in my kitchen or what - but it never happened. So I needed to find another way to make sure my food scraps were not ending up in a landfill taking up space and creating potent methane gas.
What I found was perfect for NYC living - the food scrap collection sites located at farmer's markets throughout the city. For a while now, every Sunday morning, if I am around, I take a walk up to the farmer's market by Columbia University at 116th and Broadway and drop off my food scraps. It's easy, and now that the weather is nice it is a really pleasant routine. Here is a video I had the poor GrowNYC guy take of me a few weeks ago (my iPhone's memory became full and cut off the video mid sentence - but you get the jist).
Those of you who have known me for a while may find it surprising that I find the time in my busy schedule to do this and that I don't freak out about keeping the food scraps around for a week. However, as I said three years ago, "It’s not that I don’t still find the concept of keeping food scraps around until they decompose repulsive, it’s that I find the act of creating unnecessary landfill waste even more repulsive. Plus, food scraps in landfills quickly decompose into Methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide. While some waste facilities capture Methane to convert it back into energy, most do not. According to Zero Waste, Inc. “For every 1 ton of food scraps separated from the trash before it gets to the landfill, the equivalent of 6 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) is prevented from being released into the atmosphere.”
As for the supposed smelly decomposing mess, it's really not bad at all. I keep all food scraps in plastic deli containers in the bottom drawer of the fridge. Sometimes my daughter even accompanies me on this excursion and on Mother's Day she helped out even while wearing her pretty dress.
I hope this inspires some of you to take that next step and either collect food scraps or start composting at home. For those of you (especially out in California) who have been doing this for a while - Kudos to you!