There are many reasons why people decide to compost food waste. In some cases, you might be trying to proactively make your operation more sustainable. In other cases, you might only be trying to ward off a group of riled up activists who are approaching your office like villagers storming the gates of Frankenstein’s castle, pitchforks and torches in hand. Regardless of why you are composting food waste, when people think of food waste, they sometimes only think about post-consumer plate scrapings.
I want to change the world. It has been a rallying cry for folks entering the environmental field for a generation. As I near 25 years in this field, I realized something. That I have seen more programs fail, not because of a lack of big ideas, or great ideals, but because of mundane details.
OK, so here’s the mea culpa where I realize that I have probably skipped a step during the time that I have been writing this blog. If you have never seen me speak publicly, there is a core tenet that I often talk about that I have found in my 20+ years of implementing recycling and materials sustainability programs. That is that there is a bell curve of participation.
We focus a lot on making recycling easy. We try to make it easy for waste generators to recycle. We try to make it easy to understand. We try to make recycling bins easy to find. Hopefully we focus on trying to make it easy for staff to collect. Yet somehow, too often, we forget to make recycling easy to support. Making your program easy to support is critical to getting the administrative support that you need to sustain the program.