Loudoun County does NOT have a residential composting program. I find this disconcerting as I value community efforts to improve the environment. Food waste that ends up in landfills is a problem for the environment because it lacks oxygen, which prevents organic material from naturally decomposing. Our food scraps, organic matter, and other materials end up releasing methane. This is a potent greenhouse gases that can alter the earth’s climate and temperature. Instead, we should compost food scraps rich in nutrients to keep them out of landfills and reintroduce those nutrients into our ecosystem.
In August 2021, Sterling’s district supervisor Koran T. Saines proposed that the county’s limited composting program be expanded to allow residents to bring in food waste for soil, fertilizer and mulch production. The big question here is when it will happen? Climate change is real. We must immediately address this problem. We have a moral obligation as citizens to change our habits of mixing food waste with trash. The local government has the responsibility to lead schools and communities in this effort.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to 40% American food ends up in landfills. Loudoun County can create a food rescue program to prevent huge amounts of carbon dioxide from causing adverse impacts on our environment. Loudoun County residents should learn about composting and request that their local government representatives create composting outreach programs.