There is a huge project starting up in South/Central Phoenix (spreading valley wide) and it is going to change the way a large percentage of organic waste is collected in the Phoenix metro area as well as create a way for local businesses, restaurants and our local communities to gain access to high quality foods at a low cost and with a substantially lower carbon footprint.
Growing Rogue is a forward thinking company that is aware of the challenges that the city of Phoenix is facing when it comes to waste collection. Did you know that 34 million tons of food was wasted in the year 2010 within the United States? The amount of waste generated was only second to the amount of paper waste. Of the 34 million tons, only 3% was recovered and recycled while the remaining 33 million tons made it into landfills and incinerators, according to the United States EPA. You can find out more by following THIS LINK.
This issue is not just a national problem, but it is a huge local challenge that Growing Rogue is dedicated to overcome. With the help of Cascadia Consulting Group, the city of Phoenix conducted a characterization study in 2003 to find out how much of our local household waste is recyclable, compostable or waste that must be either incinerated or buried in landfills. Out of 283 samples taken from all around the valley, they found that a whopping 49.4% of all household waste IS compostable. These organic materials can actually be gathered up, processed and reused for many different purposes. Unlike the above figures, an overall of 17% of the organic waste is being captured making the strain on trash collection contractors, like Waste Management, so overwhelming that it is causing unacceptable and unnecessary costs to pick up this extra 195,176 TONS of excess waste. Imagine what a burden it is on our material separation at the dump, not to mention the sheer waste of much needed room in our landfills around the city. The goal is to get that 17% organic waste diversion up to 40% by 2020. This will only be possible with the help of community awareness and local companies that care, such as Growing Rogue.
The organic waste recycling is only the beginning of Growing Rogue solution. Once the waste is picked up by using transportation processes that use absolutely ZERO petroleum based fuels, the materials are processed through a commercial composting process that sterilizes the organic materials, leaving nutrient rich stock that is then mixed with soil that has an abundance of 'Good' microorganisms and then fed to the plants that will be grown on community gardens throughout the entire City of Phoenix. Learn more about this process here http://www.growingrogue.com/page3/index.html
The reason I am writing about this is to raise awareness of projects such as these and to educate anyone that will listen so that we can all work together to make a difference. There are many perks lined up for people that want to get involved in such projects, such as low cost/high quality produce :) I for one, am going to play a huge role in getting the first property up and running. I was going to be working on my own garden anyways, so why not pitch in and help an entire community?
Looking forward to your comments! Keep in mind that I have lots of resources to back up all the stats that I had listed in this quick blog. Stay logged in for more as this venture progresses.