Food scraps are the unavoidable waste products from food preparation. To keep them out of landfills, learn how to compost. Otherwise, food scraps should placed in your garbage cart or bin. To find out more about what goes where, visit SanJoseRecycles.org.
Food Waste Facts
More food ends up in landfills than anything else, accounting for roughly 18% of wastes.
In an enclosed landfill absent of oxygen, food waste quickly generates methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that warms the planet 86 times more than carbon dioxide.
In addition to methane, organic materials high in nitrogen, such as food scraps, also produce nitrous oxide (N2O) during decomposition in landfills, a GHG that is roughly 300 times worse than carbon dioxide.
Sending uneaten food and other organic waste into landfills releases more than 8.3 million tons of GHGs each year in California, contributing 20 percent of the state’s methane emissions.
Nationally, discarded food costs consumers and industry $165 billion each year.
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