DC is trying to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills and help residents compost it instead so it can enrich the soil instead of being trapped in a landfill. Food is the most common material found in landfills across the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and it produces climate change-inducing gases as it decomposes in this type of environment.
A new bill introduced to the DC Council on October 22 aims to reduce city-wide food waste by requiring local businesses to compost. If passed, this law will expand upon existing provisions set forth in 2014 that regulate the way the city handles its trash.
In 2015, food waste constituted a whopping 22% of the material thrown into landfills. When mixed in with solid waste, discarded food scraps produce methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Consequently, landfills are a significant producer of greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to worsening the effects of climate change.