The Compost King of New York by Elizabeth Royte Reflection

I found this reading very interesting and informative.  I learned about the different systems used to compost and digest waste food. This reading made me very hopeful and excited about a green future. It’s awesome that new sciences and developments are coming out that are aimed at making our world cleaner.

New York City faces many environmental problems, but with the work of Charles Vigliotti, food waste won’t be one of them. Vigliotti is in the works of creating a new alternative to food waste processing called anaerobic digestion. The city can’t have giant compost farms for many reasons. Even anaerobic digestion has its flaws but both ways of getting rid of food waste face creating excessive carbon amounts from transportation. Therefore, not only do these companies need to think of the end products and how they will affect the earth, but they also need to determine how to execute these systems of breaking down food waste. Anaerobic digestion is when food is broken down with microbes. The two main products from anaerobic digestion are fertilizer and biogas. Not only is anaerobic digestion offering safe and clean alternatives to composting, but the gaseous byproduct can be burned to make heat and electricity. I found this aspect of the reading incredible interesting. I had no idea that renewable energy could be acquired from food waste.

As Elizabeth Royte, the author of this article, examined the different companies which compost and digest food scraps, she concluded that smaller programs are essentially worse for the environment because although they can control contaminants better, they aren’t able to address all of the food waste created in the city. They also offer curbside programs but those leave large carbon footprints. By interviewing Charles Vigliotti and his plans for the food waste industry, Royte allowed the readers to learn about a new, hopefully more efficient program for food waste digestion.

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