Best Reason to Waste Not, Want Not

The immense of amount of food in the landfill

Staff Pick

We admit it. We're a bit obsessed with the landfill. But when you think about it, what over public setting is a more tangible representation of who we are, what we consume and what we devalue? So, Boise Weekly was particularly interested in something called a "waste stream analysis" of the Ada County landfill, a yearlong trash count, sampling our refuse at four different times of the year. And what that analysis revealed was jaw-dropping: We learned that anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of the total food waste could have been edible. It turns out that more than 53,000 tons of food waste is sent to the landfill each year, more than 17,000 tons edible."A lot of people still don't understand that there's a big difference between the sell-by date, which is directed to the store owner, and the use-by date, which is directed to the consumer," Ada County solid waste director Ted Hutchinson said. "A lot of that food hasn't reached the use-by date. You're throwing away something with a lot of value."

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