Composting in Reno with Down to Earth
In 2020 I was disgruntled with the amount of food waste Scotty and I were throwing away. It was ridiculous to me that two people had a full or overflowing trash can every week, and this was even while putting effort into lowering our food waste. So, I started looking into DIY composting methods and was quickly overwhelmed. Where would we keep a compost pile? Did we have time to maintain it? What would we even do with the soil generated? On a whim I Googled "composting services in Reno" to see if someone else had a solution. To my delight, I found Down To Earth!
Food Waste Facts
Did you know that the average American produces three times as much garbage compared to the global average? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generated 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018. This is nearly 4.9 pound of waste per person, per day. Of that 292.4 million tons of MSW, 63.16 million tons was food waste, the second largest category of MSW generated behind paper and paperboard at 67.54 million pounds.
Unfortunately, only 2.59 million tons of that food waste was composted, leaving 35.28 million tons to go to landfills. The EPA was unable to address the outcome for the other 17.72 million tons of food waste in its report.
So, what can we do to prevent more food waste from ending up in landfills? The easiest solution is of course on compost our organic waste ourselves at home, and turn moldy bread and mushy apples into rich soil for garden beds. However, the reality of our day-to-day lives or living situations are not always conducive to maintaining a compost pile. Thankfully if you live in the Reno/Sparks area, that's where Down To Earth Composting comes in to help!
Composting with Down To Earth
With Down To Earth, composting is made as simple as it would be if you were throwing food in the trash. You can either sign up for a drop-off or pick-up subscription, Scotty and I have a pick-up subscription because I know I'd let that bucket grow its own eco system before I remembered to take it to a drop-off point.
A drop-off subscription costs $14 a month, and you can drop off an unlimited (within reason) amount of scraps at one of their 24/7 drop-off points in Reno and Sparks.
Their weekly collection subscription costs $28 a month, where an employee (nicknamed rot-riders) will come by on a bike once a week to pick-up your scraps and give you a fresh bucket. If you have more scraps than your bucket can hold you are also able to utilize their drop-off points. This subscription also includes a finished compost (aka soil, aka black gold) return twice a year. This stuff is AMAZING, we have used it on houseplants and to help our pear tree flourish.
In addition to composting services, Down To Earth also pops up at local farmers markets where you can purchase black gold to make all your plants happy.
Interested in composting with Down To Earth? You can easily sign-up for composting services here, or learn more about why you should consider composting here. A list of what can be composted with Down To Earth can be found here.
Benefits of Composting
While composting can help divert food waste from landfills, the benefits don't stop there.
- When organic waste sits in landfills it generates methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By diverting to food waste to composting we can reduce the amount of methane landfills produce.
- Finished compost can reduce or in some cases eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.
- The use of finished compost can enrich the quality of soils, enhance moisture retention, and suppress plant diseases and pests.
I hope you join me in reducing the amount of food waste you produce that goes to landfills!