Letters to the Editor: Don’t give away food waste. Compost it yourself and keep the mulch

Compost made at the community garden in South Los Angeles is sifted by a gardener.
Compost made at the community garden in South Los Angeles is sifted by a gardener. Starting Jan. 1, food scraps must be discarded into green composting bins.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Community composting may be a useful tool in fighting climate change, but using trucks to haul the refuse away is a concern, and I hope we will also look for more local alternatives. (“California goes to war with food waste. Composting is its next climate crusade,” Dec. 9)

I’ve been doing composting at home for decades with nothing fancy at all: a small, capped container under the sink for vegetable scraps (no meat or fish — they may draw rodents), and a corner of earth where I can put it about twice a week. Earthworms do the rest within a month or so.

The result is mulch for the garden — and no hauling by trucks. (I am fortunate to live in a house with a yard, and I know that.)


Paul Cooley, Culver City


To the editor: Segregating kitchen waste is old news in Philadelphia, where I lived in the 1960s and ’70s and kept a separate “garbage pail.” This was a small, galvanized can where we put our garbage (as it was called in those days).

We kept it outside and about twice a week the pig farmers from New Jersey came by to collect it as feed for their animals. Unfortunately, the food drew all kinds of vermin and smelled terrible by the time it was collected.

The climate in Philadelphia is much cooler than ours, so I can just imagine what we are in for if we have to put our food out and leave it for a week until the trash company collects it.

Claire Wilson, Mission Viejo


To the editor: Thank you for the excellent article on the new law mandating that Californians toss their food waste in with their yard waste for composting starting Jan. 1.


I was disappointed, however, that the article did not mention San Luis Obispo County, which has had a high solids anaerobic digestion facility in operation since September 2018.

At that time, all county residents were issued countertop bins for their food waste and encouraged to participate. Restaurants, grocery stores and other high-production facilities are included.

I toured the facility in 2019. It is quite impressive.

Juliane McAdam, Los Osos