Food waste disposal method raises questions about compost on farmers’ fields

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:03 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - We told you how Vermont’s largest waste hauler, Casella Waste, is using newer technology to remove food from containers that haven’t been opened. The food is then composted and the container is recycled.

But we found that some of the plastics from that process are ending up in a compost food slurry that goes to farmers who spread it on their fields.

It has raised concerns about microplastics in soils.

On top of that, we told you how CSWD won’t take compostable utensils and dishes anymore starting next year. That’s because many contain PFAS, don’t break down easily, add zero nutrients to compost and have led to confusion among consumers who are mixing up compostable dishware with noncompostable dishware.

Kevin McCallum is also looking into this for our media partner Seven Days. He spoke with our Darren Perron about what he’s found. Watch the video for the full interview.

Click here for McCallum’s story in Seven Days.

Related Stories:

Casella working with UVM researchers to find food scrap composting solutions

CSWD says compostable food wares on the chopping block

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