IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jennifer Jordan walks towards a 250-foot compost heap on a sunny morning on the Iowa Metropolis Landfill and Recycling Heart.
He marks it with a thermometer and smiles when the gauge rises to 160 levels Fahrenheit, virtually 70 notches above the skin temperature.
“Is not that so cool?” marvels Jordan, the town’s useful resource administration superintendent. “That’s the course of. That is Mom Nature.”
The pile is made up of meals scraps, like eggshells and banana peels, and yard waste, like useless wooden and grass clippings. But it surely would not suck. Even within the winter, the accelerated strategy of pure decomposition generates sufficient warmth to show what was as soon as the leftovers of Johnson County residents into fertile soil.
However the metropolis is operating out of area to transform the 11,500 tons of yard and meals waste it collects annually into land. It’s one in every of two large-scale composting websites in Iowa that settle for meals, regardless that meals scraps make up 20% of the state’s waste stream.
Which means Iowans ship an estimated 556,313 tons of compostable meals to landfills annually, in accordance with the latest estimates. Not solely does it take up area and stink up the air, it additionally generates methane, a greenhouse fuel.
However even when extra Iowans determined to type their meals waste, the state’s present composting infrastructure would not be capable to course of it.