You’re probably familiar with the more common benefits of composting, like healthier soil and happier plants, but did you know how far-reaching the benefit can be? Keeping food waste and other compostable materials out of the landfill positively affects the environment in big ways. According to the EPA, the largest component of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is organic waste, which not only includes food waste, but also yard waste, paper and paper board. But only about 2% of the 87 million tons of MSW that was recovered in 2012 was food waste. After the recovery process (which includes recycling and composting) a total of 164 million tons of waste still went to the landfills, and food waste made up the largest component of this discarded waste! When these organic materials decompose in an environment void of oxygen, what usually happens at landfills, they produce methane, a greenhouse gas much more harmful than carbon dioxide. Methane can stay in the air for than 10 years and is more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, making it a long-term environmental hazard. By reducing our food waste and keeping the rest out of the landfill, we can quickly make a beneficial change for the environment!