Composting and Food Waste

Interested in reducing your household’s food waste? On average, people waste 25% of the food they buy. This is a waste of the resources it took to produce that food and a giant waste of money for the individual. The average household of four throws away an estimated $1,350 to $2,275 per year in wasted food.

We have tips and tricks for helping you figure out how to waste less; guidance on saving scraps for municipal compost; instructions for starting your own backyard compost pile, or even letting worms do the work in an under-the-counter vermicomposting bin.

Wasted food isn’t the only thing clogging up landfills: we use and then throw out a lot of food packaging, mostly in the form of plastic containers and bags. But with a few changes to the way you shop, cook, eat and deal with leftovers, you’ll be able to reduce your foodprint and save money too.

Here are three strategies you can use to reduce personal food waste:

  • Composting your food scraps
  • Reducing the amount of food packaging you use
  • Cooking creatively to use all of your food and eat up leftovers


On average, people waste 25% of the food they buy.

Why You Should Compost

Composted waste generates significantly less methane than organic waste that ends up in landfills, and when used in gardening or farming, that compost can provide cost savings to you and make your gardening soil more productive.

Whether you’re a gardener or not, you can be part of composting. The easiest way to get started is by collecting your own food scraps and then dropping off your food waste at one of the many municipal composting drop off sites around the country (some cities, like Seattle and New York City, even have curbside compost pickup).

Composting for the Home Gardener

If you happen to grow your own food, you can start your own compost bin and see the benefit of compost directly, creating a nutrient rich additive for your garden which can help build soil structure, promote aeration and drainage, provide vital nutrients and encourage microbial activity.

Ready to get started? From learning exactly what you can compost (coffee grounds? eggshells?) to a troubleshooting guide for getting your compost just right, to learning about how to compost with worms (vermicomposting), we’ve got tons of tips and resources for you.

So, if you want to reduce your food waste, save money and get the most out of home gardening while reducing your environmental impact, composting might be the thing for you!

More About Composting and Food Waste

Top photo by Pixavril/Adobe Stock.