Scott County plans to turn wasted food into productive products

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- After a study last year, Scott County said it wants to find new purposes for food residents throw away.

"We did see a good amount of food waste," said Megan Fox, the communication coordinator at the Scott Area Recycling Center.

She said it's significant enough to look into other options.

"It's not bad that it ends up in our landfill, but it could have potential need for composting," Fox added.

Fox said the county will have to weigh its options, from costs to collection-method to what actually happens to those scraps.

But it could mean a compost bin at every house that gets picked up and delivered to a composting site.

"We are going to research and evaluate what a program could look like," Fox said.

Another option is a compost location where the whole county can drop of food scraps.

Fox said the study will happen this fall.

Reducing the amount of food that ends up in the garbage could extend the life of the landfill Fox said. Right now, the county has a plan to make it last another 50 years. By repurposing food scraps, that plan could last even longer.

While the county is researching and evaluating its options, there's already a program in place to help businesses and restaurants donate food where it's needed.

Popcorn Charlie and Company in Davenport works with the Food Rescue Partnership to donate unpopped kernels and unsold bags of popcorn to local churches and food pantries.

"We probably do roughly 70 gallon a week," owner Charlie Crispin said. "We didn't want to put the waste into the landfill."

Crispin, who's been ensuring nothing goes to waste at the popcorn shop since it opened in 1989, said it just makes sense to try to collect and compost food waste.

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