If you really want to compost, but are just not quite ready to set it up at home, check out Earth Mama Compost.

EDITOR'S NOTE: All of Ask Renee's columns are moving to NUVO! Here's one that first appeared online in October of 2015.

Find more Ask Renee columns here:


Since we have not set up our compost bin at our new house yet, I am wondering if it is best to use our garbage disposal for food waste or bag it and put it in the trash (we use Republic). The instructions with the disposal said the waste water treatment may recycle the waste.



I have spent countless hours pondering the environmental impact of a similar challenge — blowing my nose and putting the tissue in the trash vs. the toilet.

On one hand, you are putting waste down the drain, sending it to our already overworked, antiquated wastewater treatment plant. Did you know that pretty much every time it rains, millions of gallons of raw sewage overflows into our waterways? You can sign up to receive Raw Sewage Overflow Alerts from Citizens Energy Group.

On the other hand, putting it in the trash sends it to an incinerator that, although the air that is released gets “scrubbed” has emissions.

Of course, incinerating our trash is also creating energy, whereas a garbage disposal is using energy, so I’m gonna say (for now) that in the trash is the better of these two options.

If you really want to compost, but are just not quite ready to set it up at home, check out Earth Mama Compost.

Piece out,


(NOTE: This article appeared in the Jan. 6, 2016 issue of NUVO.)

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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at

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