Globally, almost 50 percent of waste is organic (food or yard/green waste) or biodegradable. When food waste ends up in a landfill, it doesn’t have the right conditions (heat, microbes) to break down properly, which results in methane emissions, which are approximately 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a century in terms of heat absorption capability.
One way to combat this problem is to divert organic waste from landfills by composting. Rather than releasing methane, composting sequesters carbon by converting food waste and other organic material (yard clippings etc.) into stable, nutrient-rich soil. Reducing other kinds of waste, like construction material, will also reduce the need (and energy used) to extract, process, and transport raw materials for use in everyday products.
Carmel currently offers City-serviced recycling and household hazardous waste disposal to all residents. Carmel and Hamilton County also offers expanded household hazardous waste disposal services along with e-waste recycling. Residents are also able to sign up for composting services offered by several local composting businesses.
The strategies itemized below are primarily focused on reducing the quantity of solid waste disposed of in landfills by the City of Carmel, which will reduce methane emissions.