Thanksgiving Wrap

Washington’s King County (home of Seattle) is pushing the envelope on food waste collection. Why should Thanksgiving be any different?

Monday, a neighborhood in Renton, Wash., dumped turkey carcasses and other Thanksgiving leftovers in a public location turkey carcass. photo by jem via creative commonsas part of a composting demo organized by the County recycling team. I’m guessing the county carted away the pile after the cameras left. And hopefully these were already cooked down to make soup or stock.

The awareness-building event raises a debated topic in composting: meat. From what I understand, you can compost meat scraps and dairy, but you have to really know what you’re doing to get the pile hot enough. Translation: Commercial composting operations can process meat , but it’s not the best idea for backyard dirt jockeys like me.

On King County, I think it’s fabulous that they collect and compost food. Less inspiring–the county’s no frills slogan:

Recycle Food. It’s Easy To Do

Even less inspiring: the county sending the message that refrigerated foods are not fit for donation. That condemns too much grocery and restaurant remains to the waste basket, er, compost bin. Seattle’s Food Lifeline has a Grocery Rescue program and Seattle’s Table programs with refrigerated trucks.

As always, just because we’re recycling, doesn’t mean we should relax about trying to minimize waste–and feed hungry people!

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