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Group seeks to end food waste in Tennessee

To the Editor:
Tennessee residents are invited to join a campaign designed to ramp up backyard composting across the state. The program, called “Come Post Your Compost,” was developed by Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC) as a fun way to encourage Tennesseans to divert food waste from Tennessee’s landfills, turning it into usable soil through the natural process of composting. The group seeks residents to get involved and make a difference, at no cost to participate. The program is supported by Kroger as well as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
“We thank Kroger for supporting our campaign into its third year,” says Jeffrey Barrie, CEO of TEC. “We have seen great success with hundreds of participants composting thousands of pounds of food waste and keeping valuable materials out of our dwindling landfills, and we welcome new participants,” says Barrie.
Currently, more than 1,100 Tennesseans participate in this program and have collectively composted 81 tons of food waste since the fall of 2018. In 2021, TEC aims to add at least 250 additional participants to the program, present four “Composter of the Season” awards, and host composting workshops in collaboration with companies engaging their employees in at-home composting.
“Kroger has elevated its efforts to address food waste through our ‘Zero Hunger | Zero Waste’ plan launched just over three years ago and have chosen to sponsor ‘Come, Post Your Compost’ for the third year because we want to be part of the solution,” says Melissa Eads, Corporate Affairs Manager for the Kroger Nashville Division.
Currently, 40% of food produced in America goes uneaten, averaging about 20 pounds wasted per person every month, and only 3% of this food waste is being composted. Food waste is the single largest occupant in U.S. landfills, which are reaching capacity. Based on TEC’s program data, the average Tennessee household is trashing nine pounds of food waste every week. Composting is an effective way to reduce this problem and help restore Tennessee’s topsoils with nutrient-rich soil amendment, and the process happens naturally when done properly.
Every participant in “Come, Post Your Compost” receives how-to information, has a chance to win cash for actively participating. TEC provides additional resources that include a comprehensive website showing how to get started, what can be composted, and showcasing county-specific resources and success stories, educational videos, and community stories.
Visit tectn.org/comepostyourcompost for more information and to join the TEC composting community.

Brandi Prewitt
Manager of Development
TN Environmental Council