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Compost! 

Los Osos

In June 2009, in San Francisco, a law was signed requiring all residences and businesses to compost their organic waste. Two thirds of all garbage tossed annually is stuff that could have been composted. And all that compost in the garbage does not break down as it would in a compost pile, but breaks down anaerobically, becoming the number one source of human-caused methane. San Francisco currently composts 400 tons of food scraps and compostable items daily. Yet in San Luis Obispo, I suggest taking an evening stroll behind Trader Joe’s or another large grocery store and peek into their dumpster. Other than a few stray plastic bags amid partially rotten (or sometimes perfectly good) tomatoes, all there is to be seen is compostable waste. Aside from the fact that decreasing waste from landfills could reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to closing 21 percent of the coal-fired generating plants in the U.S., or that it could help restore the lifeline of the Earth—our top soils—it is an easy step for the city to take. It’s high time our cities and the county move ahead.

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