recycling | WOSU Radio

recycling

Reducing Food Waste In Franklin County

May 22, 2019
pshutterbug / Flickr

According to the USDA, the U.S. wastes 30 to 40 percent of its food supply each year. And in Franklin County, that amounted to 152,000 tons of food waste. 

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio is looking to cut that number in half by 2030

One of their plans is to encourage ‘rightsizing’ portions in employee training at local restaurants. This would reduce waste from restaurants that consistently overserve.  

Today on All Sides, we’re discussing how we can meet SWACO’s goal and why it's important to reduce food waste.

A view from the top of the SWACO landfill.
Thomas Bradley / WOSU

Last year, 152,000 tons of food waste was sent to the landfill in Central Ohio. The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is announcing an action plan to cut that number in half by 2030.

Community representatives ceremonially toss recycleales into bins that will be distributed to their residents.
Olivia Miltner / WOSU

Five Central Ohio communities will be handing out 38,000 new recycling bins to their residents, free of cost, over the next month.

Sam Hendren / WOSU

Some Central Ohio recycling companies blame China’s ban on imported plastic waste for rising costs and lower revenues.

Plastic garbage from Trader Joe's and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.

It's a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?

For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.

And it wasn't just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world's plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.

Nick Evans / WOSU

It’s been six years since Columbus started offering free curb-side recycling. The program proved popular, but it’s only available to people who live in buildings with four or fewer units. That’s a big problem for student housing near The Ohio State University, a school that prides itself on zero waste.

Hilltop activist Lisa Boggs.
Nick Evans

Columbus officials say dirty streets are providing cover for rising crime, and are launching a new initiative to combat illegal dumping.

Sam Hendren / WOSU

A study of Central Ohio’s recycling industry, commissioned by a local waste management company, shows it's created thousands of jobs and generated more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. 

It was a hot day at the zoo when Jordan Carlson's son, who has motor-planning delays, got thirsty. "We went to the snack bar and found out they had a 'no straw' policy," Carlson says. "It was a hot day and he couldn't drink."

Slurping up smoothies, sodas and slushies through disposable plastic straws could one day become a thing of the past.

The call to toss plastic straws out of our food system is growing louder and louder. On Thursday Bon Appétit, a large food service company, announced it is banning plastic straws in all 1,000 of its cafes in 33 states, including locations like AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The company says it plans to complete its transition to paper straws by September 2019.

It's the latest salvo in a growing war against straws.

Sam Hendren

Columbus City Council has approved the second year of a five-year agreement for curbside yard waste and recycling, despite a huge cost increase.

Scoot over, cans; cartons are moving in on your shelf space. Specifically, the soft, light rectangular containers commonly associated with juice boxes — "aseptic cartons" to the carton literati.

"They're growing in popularity," says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council, an industry group. "Broth is predominantly in aseptic packaging now, and you see a lot of coconut water in it."

Sam Hendren / WOSU

China is enforcing a new policy that bans imports of 24 types of solid waste, including recyclable materials. While that has many in the United States worried, the local recycling industry says these new rules should not hurt Central Ohio. 

Christmas is over and your once glorious evergreen seems to have lost its luster and is dropping pine needles on the floor.

It's time to cart your fir or spruce off for recycling.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It's in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it's literally almost everywhere.

Pages