Trend Watch: Composting on the Rise

Trend Watch: Composting on the Rise

September 16, 2020
Annette Maggi

By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

An increased interest in composting may be one of the good things to come out of the coronavirus pandemic. While nationwide, concrete numbers aren’t available, local news stories across the country are touting heightened consumer interest in composting.

The timing of stay-at-home orders and quarantines aligned with spring. While staying close to home and with more time on their hands, more consumers turned to garden, which lead to thoughts about soil quality as well as composting. As everyone was cooking more at home, they also witnessed more food waste and realized they could do something about it, including composting.

This rising trend creates a new story line for retail dietitians, one that’s important to the entire food supply chain including grocers. Here are four ideas for engaging your shoppers on composting:

  • Research large scale/commercial composting programs (also sometimes called organics recycling programs) in your key markets. Run a livestream from one of the sites, educating consumers on how to participate in the program. Create and share cheat sheets on food items and paper goods accepted by the facilities.
  • Offer a virtual class on home composting. Partner with merchants to offer home compost bins as a seasonal item. Or partner with a local garden center on coupons for bins. Address foods, paper goods and yard waste that can and can’t be composted. Give tips on how kids can get involved.
  • Run a series of social posts on the benefits of composting – reduced trash in landfills, nutrients to enrich soil, and pride for families in doing their part.
  • Create a community competition setting a goal of a number of households who are home composting or a certain poundage of food prevented from going into landfills.