Waking up in Hollywood after Global Green USA’s fabulous Pre-Oscar Party, I was ready to put my steel-toed boots right back on and light out for the desert at the crack of dawn. My mission: To see where Los Angeles composts its food scraps, including the food waste coming from our very own star-studded event.
When I arrived at American Organics' Victorville, CA facility, I met up with Naka Soun and Pete Townsend, who showed me around their facility. American Organics takes in about 150 tons of organic material every day, about 20% of which is food waste.
American Organics is a subsidiary of our new Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) member Athens Services, a family-owned and locally based recycling and waste collection company, and the hauler who provided the composting service for the Pre-Oscar Party. Athens is one of very few LA-area haulers to provide commercial and residential organics and food waste collection and processing.
The facility combines food scraps with yard waste to create a soil mixture that’s usable—and highly beneficial—for landscape construction and farming. After being cleaned, ground, moistened, and turned periodically for 16-52 weeks to complete decomposition, the soil is finished and ready for sale.
Complete with the composted food scraps, this soil is an effective way to both keep food scraps out of landfills—reducing potent greenhouse gas emissions and the need for costly new landfills—and put valuable nutrients back into the earth. In keeping with the "closing-the-loop" spirit, Athens actually provides annual compost giveaways for their customers; every year they distribute hundreds of tons of organic compost free of charge.
Global Green USA is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to these composting efforts, and to highlight facilities like American Organics that make it possible to transform inedible food scraps into nutrient-rich soil ultimately used to grow more food. Closing the loop is what we’re all about!