Irish Haste on Waste Reduction

Ireland’s EPA just weighed in with this discussion paper on how to reduce food and yard waste in landfills. Here’s a decent summary of the study, which suggested ten potential changes to keep food from rotting in landfills.photo courtesy of megpi (via Flickr)

Conspicuously absent was the suggestion: ‘Stop wasting so much food!’

The Irish study stems from the European Union’s Landfill Directive, which mandates that member states trim biodegradable landfill waste to 75% of 1995 levels by 2010 (and 35% of 1995 levels by 2020).

Wait, did I just write that the total trash output would decrease? Imagine that happening in America. While our per person food waste has plateaued at 4.6 pounds per day (a lot–equal to a half-gallon of milk), US municipal solid waste (MSW) increased by about 66 percent from 1980 to 2005.

I’d say we’re due for a U.S. Landfill Directive…or we could just dig another big hole in the ground.

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