California Dreaming

Sometimes I wish I lived in California. Other times, I don’t.

Either way, I’ll always appreciate the state’s pioneering attitude on food waste recycling. San Francisco and several East Bay communities already collect food waste from residents and restaurants in rolling green bins. Whilephoto by Modern Times (via Creative Commons) this leads to some further questions, it’s still very progressive.

Now comes news that nearby Contra Costa County will start a pilot project this fall to create energy from restaurant and supermarket waste. It’s a neat initiative that will use a digester to convert restaurant waste to methane, which will be harnessed to produce electricity.

My main beef with the program is that it will only take pre-consumer food waste–the excess prepared food and kitchen scraps–not customers’ plate waste. First, it’d be better to donate unserved food to the hungry. Second, the bus-boy-collected remains, quite hefty at most restaurants, will still go to the landfill.

That distinction will make the program less expensive, but that doesn’t seem to justify only composting half the food waste. Why let mundane details like budget shortfalls stand in the way of being as green as possible? After all, this is still California, right?!

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