Many people find collecting vegetable waste and leftovers rather disgusting – especially in midsummer, when the organic waste in the kitchen can also attract small flies. But because we know what valuable things can be made from vegetable waste, coffee grounds, banana or orange peel, it’s routine for us.
Compost is organic material that helps plants grow when added to the soil. Food scraps and yard waste make up about 30 percent of our waste and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, which is a very strong greenhouse gas. By the way, an organic waste bin and your own garden compost do not contradict each other: A lot of things that are not allowed on your own compost can go into the organic waste bin, for example bone or meat leftovers. In addition, we usually produce more organic waste than we can use for our own garden anyway.
Organic waste is very rich in energy and nutrients. Properly disposed of in the organic waste bin, it either ends up in a “fermentation plant”, where climate-neutral biogas is obtained from it, or in a “composting plant“. Valuable fertilizer for agriculture and peat-free soil for the garden are produced here from organic waste. If we separate our waste properly, we support the energy transition and more sustainable agriculture!
How to collect organic waste in the most environmentally friendly way
The most environmentally friendly way to separate your organic waste is to take it straight from the kitchen bowl to the organic waste bin. You can put a little paper in the bowl to absorb the moisture. This can be thrown into the compost bin. However, please do not use brightly printed paper so that no residues of the printing inks end up in the compost. Numerous manufacturers offer organic collection containers for the kitchen, some with special filter lids to reduce unpleasant odors. Another option are special paper bags. These are specially coated so that they remain tear-resistant when the organic waste is wet. When buying, you should make sure that the bags are made of recycled paper with the Blue Angel.
Incidentally, most waste disposal companies advise against special bags made of biodegradable plastic. The plastic does not decompose quickly enough in their composting plants and thus ends up in the environment as plastic scraps or microplastics. Furthermore, the degradable plastic bags in the plants can only be distinguished from the conventional plastic bags with difficulty, so that they are often sorted out before composting to be on the safe side – often including the valuable content!
Join the “organic waste bin promise”!
The Federal Ministry for the Environment and other partners called last year for the big “organic waste bin promise”. You can make a promise to throw all your organic waste in the organic waste bin. To ensure that less plastic ends up in the organic waste bin we support eco-friendly initiatives that encourage people to eat more biologically produced foods, buy foods in eco-friendly and naturally degradable packaging and to separate and recycle all plastic waste from our households. We are constantly active to find new technologies for plastic recycling and production process that limit waste, especially non-recyclable waste.