I caught the CBS Evening news for April 15, 2009. The broadcast featured a story about hundreds of restaurants around San Francisco. The restaurants are routinely donating their leftover kitchen scraps to create tons of fresh, organic compost for California farms.
Together the restaurants contribute as much as 300 tons a day of clean vegetable waste that is collected, composted in intensive, large-scale batches, and then sold at $400 a truckload to local farmers.
The report gets the story of this particular 21st Century agrarian model out widely for public consideration, and that’s positive. But to my eye it appeared that the producers of the news clip juxtaposed images of clean kitchen compost with images of city garbage heaps, giving the impression that compost and garbage are one in the same thing. For the record, garbage has no place in a compost bucket or pile. That’s an important point. Good organic farms depend on clean, life-filled compost to grow future crops of clean food. The participating restaurants seem to be well aware of this crucial distinction.
I recommend sitting back for three minutes to watch the online video clip of this story. It offers a clear and positive video explortion of a medium-scale model that other communities may want to consider.