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Your Thanksgiving waste could be contributing to climate change

The Ohio State University Food Waste Collaborative expects around 300 million pounds of waste to go to our landfills this holiday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — While we savor every ounce of our Thanksgiving meals including leftovers, the scraps, extra food waste, boxes and containers usually all get sent off to the landfills. 

Brian Roe has studied the impacts of food waste as the Van Buren Chair in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics at Ohio State and is the faculty lead in the Food Waste Collaborative. 

“This year for Thanksgiving alone, we are expecting around 300 million pounds of waste," Roe said.

That waste typically ends up in our landfills which turn into methane gas and other pollutants. In order to keep as much waste as we can out of the landfills, community organizations have found other useful ways of recycling.

"Calculate how much turkey to buy and how many sides to buy so you have the right amount for your guests and the right amount of leftovers you want afterward," Roe suggested.

He said a helpful tool to use is a dinner party calculator such as the Guest-Imitator.

Composting is also a great way to reuse scraps from your Thanksgiving meal.

The Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission will also accept your unwanted waste.  

“There are so many communities, like Hilliard, where there are collection points that you can drop off your food waste and it’ll get recycled and used for something else," said Jason Write, a member of the ESC.

To reduce waste, the Hilliard ESC will also collect string lights on December 5  from 4-6:30 p.m. and styrofoam and expanded polystyrene on December 30 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at 3800 Municipal Way in Hilliard.  

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