Why should you compost your food scraps? Because leftovers that end up in the dump create greenhouse gases.
This, according to Metro Vancouver, is what’s happening. Greenhouse gases act like a giant blanket that surrounds the planet, trapping some of the sun’s energy. When we burn fossil fuels like gas and oil, we are releasing carbon dioxide.
As plants grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air. When plants die they release that carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. However, if plants get buried and decompose without oxygen, instead of creating carbon dioxide, they create methane which is about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to absorbing the heat bouncing off the Earth’s surface.
Two-thirds of the methane produced in Metro Vancouver is from food and plant material rotting in the dump, prompting Metro Vancouver municipalities to have a program in place to collect all food scraps by 2015.
Food scraps are taken to facilities where composting takes place at a high enough temperature to break down meat, bones, pizza boxes and dairy products. All the food scraps are then returned to the soil in the form of nutrient-rich compost.