Reducing global warming, one meal at a time

We want your table scraps!

A recent food-waste disposal study has found that using an in-sink garbage disposer can help reduce global warming. According to a write-up about the study, “a community of 30,000 households could avoid the equivalent of more than 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions if most of its food scraps went through a disposer to a wastewater treatment facility instead of to a landfill. That is akin to eliminating 4.6 millions of miles of car traffic.”

That’s a lot of waste that’s not getting wasted!

Because the Lehigh County Authority accepts only domestic strength wastewater and wastewater from food manufacturers, the solid waste, or sludge, that’s left behind after treatment is of a high enough quality that it can be recycled as fertilizer. So using a garbage disposer to eliminate your food waste — instead of tossing it in the trash — means it’s getting a second life instead of lining a landfill. (For some of our customers, another option is composting.)

In the future, table scraps could also help power our wastewater treatment plant. We’re studying the benefits of converting our treatment plant so that it can produce its own electricity via biogas. When solid waste is treated, one of the byproducts is methane — the major component in natural gas. Using methane to power an electrical generation system may have some great financial and environmental benefits. We’ll keep you posted on the results of the study.

In the meantime, put that garbage disposer to work for the environment!