It is estimated that in Australia only 10% of food waste is actually composted, which means that the other 90% ends up in landfill. The average household bin in Australia contains up to 40% food waste.
When food is thrown out and breaks down in the oxygen-starved environment of landfill it generates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Composting prevents this sort of pollution. For every tonne of food waste not sent to landfill, almost one tonne of CO2 emissions is saved.
In accordance with the NSW Government Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy, if households reduced their household waste by 66 percent, the greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking 117,000 cars permanently off of the road in NSW alone.
In addition, the water footprint for total food wasted globally is about 250 km3, which represents almost three times the volume of Lake Geneva, or the annual water discharge of the Volga River – Europe’s largest river.
The total amount of land used to grow the global harvest of wasted food occupies almost 1.4 billion hectares, equal to about 28% of the world’s agricultural land area.