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St. Louis Takes Cradle-To-Cradle Approach Toward Food Waste

The Gateway-To-The-West has launched its first ever city-wide composting company.

St. Louis, Missouri, is experiencing a regional first… a first of its kind composting program designed to reduce food waste and increase composting city-wide.

The recently launched St. Louis Composting Inc., fed by material from Washington University, Frito-Lay, the National Guard, WalMart Stores Inc. and the Missouri Botanical Garden, is now the largest composting facility in Missouri.  The company currently composts more than 100 tons of out-of-date food and food processing by-products per week.

Several years ago, St. Louis began encouraging area restaurants to be more environmentally conscious, and the new composting program seeks to build on that success.  By recapturing restaurant food waste, as well as grocery store and other business waste and composting it, it can be returned to local farms as fertilizer.  Farmers use the fertilizer to grow local produce, which the restaurants can then buy and use.

This cradle-to-cradle approach is new for the southeast region of the U.S., but St. Louis Composting Inc., president Patrick Geraty hopes the program will take the process from garden to table and back again, completely closing the food waste loop.

Since partnering with St. Louis Composting, Frito-Lay alone has diverted more than 10,000 pounds of food waste from area landfills.  Composting, along with other recycling programs, has helped reduce Frito-Lay’s overall landfill waste from 60% in 2009 to only 2% 2010.

The St. Louis Composting, Inc., program may be a first for St. Louis, but that just means they’re leading the way.  Let’s hope the Gateway-To-The-West will point the way for other cities to get serious about reducing food waste.

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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