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The Problem

The problem, in the biggest sense, is that there are a whole lot of people in the world. And we make a whole lot of garbage - in western countries like Canada, the US and the UK, it's estimated that the amount is in the range of 3/4 of a tonne per year - per person.

And a big percentage of that, about 25% or more, is food waste. We've gotten pretty good at figuring out ways to deal with glass, metal and many types of plastic, at least taking them out of the waste stream and an eventual home in the landfill. But food waste is an ongoing issue. It doesn't break down in the landfill quickly, it attracts vermin and creates health issues, often even before it gets picked up from residences. It's heavy and messy to haul. And it stinks.

Governments at every level know this. In some countries, like Sweden, it's against the law to throw organics - any food waste at all - into the waste stream , and they make the penalties tough enough that there really isn't a choice. Others are starting to limit the overall amount of garbage each family can put out, or just make people pay for collection. There are calls for centralized composting and waste-to-energy facilities that can deal with all of this stuff for us, and for some sectors - businesses, restaurants, big institutions, and multi-unit housing - they may be a necessary solution. But that kind of solution still means picking the stuff up and hauling it around, it may even mean shipping the garbage further, and it adds infrastructure and potentially more specialized trucks. With the help of Al Gore, David Suzuki and a bunch of other people, we've finally figured out that any solution that keeps pumping green house gas isn't really a solution at all.

Home composting is one way that people can help. It can deal effectively with plant based organic materials, and it provides a great source for rich garden fertilizer. But you can't put meat, bones, dairy or any animal source organics in the compost, it will attract vermin, so you need to separate that stuff out before you compost. Composting takes some care, you have to make sure there's enough garden waste - grass and leaves - mixed in to keep the process moving, and you have to stir and turn the compost on a regular basis. For people who want the end result, it's all worth it, but a lot of people start out with the best intentions and find that it's just too messy or too much work.

Food waste digestion as a home treatment with the Green Cone isn't a silver bullet. But this is the way to take food waste out of the potential garbage of every household that has a back yard, and it's a clean easy process.