What do you recycle?
- Grocery Store Food Waste (Produce)
- Restaurant Food Waste
- Landscape Vegetation (this goes to our wood-chipper to be used for mulch)
What don’t you recycle?
- Plastic bags
- Plastic tubs and bottles
- Glass bottles and jars
- Produce Baskets and Netting
- Plastic Wrap
- Coated or Plastic Take-Out Containers
- Latex and Plastic Gloves
- Wire and Rubber Bands
- Restroom Tissue and Paper Towels
- Pet Waste
- Hazardous Waste
- Medical Waste
- Hazardous Materials
- Milk and Juice Cartons
- Ice Cream Cartons
About 50% of household waste is organic and approximately 30% of all waste is organic. The problem with that is that organic waste that ends up in landfills is a major source of methane gas. The reason for this is because organic waste in landfills cannot decompose properly, since it is under tons of other kinds of waste and does not have access to air. As a result, it generates methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. As a greenhouse gas, it is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and particularly harmful to the environment. Organic waste in landfills also contributes to leachate production, or harmful liquid from landfills that seeps into the soil and into the groundwater.
Another important reason to recycle organic waste is that it takes up valuable space in landfills. What does all of this mean? Recycling organic waste significantly helps protect our environment, not only in the water but also in the sky!
Reasons to Recycle Organic Waste
- Prevent the release of harmful methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the environment.
- Prevent the release of harmul liquids (leacheate) into the soil at landfill
- Free up valuable space in landfills
- Provide a source of energy!
Barham Farms is a family owned and operated business that has been in production since 1979. We have been hog farmers since 1979 and now have a 4,000 sow, farrow to wean, facility on our farm. We raise piglets and ship them to nurseries, where they grow and mature.
We also have several greenhouses, in which we grow cucumbers. We have had a methane recovery system on our farm since 1995, consisting of a 2-acre covered swine lagoon. All of the methane produced in this lagoon is captured and then used produce electricity for our farm and to help heat the hog houses and greenhouses.
The methane gas produced by by the organic waste in our anaerobic digester is also used to produce heat for our greenhouses. We have been strong proponents of not wasting anything, and nothing is wasted on our farm. We are “as green as you can get.”
What is organic waste?
Basically, anything that once lived is organic. This includes food waste, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, grains, coffee grounds and filters.
What is anaerobic digestion?
Anaerobic digestion is a process that has been used since the mid-1800’s to produce energy.
It is a closed process in which microorganisms decompose organic material without oxygen (anaerobically). During this process, methane gas is produced and used as a biofuel. On our farm, we use the methane gas to keep our greenhouses warm during the winter months and also heat the warming pads used by the farrow pigs. Anaerobic digesters are used around the world to not only help manage waste, but to also produce energy. Just about anything organic can be used to feed an anaerobic digeter, including food waste (such as food waste from restaurants (spoiled food and leftover food) and food waste from grocery stores (spoiled food).