Contamination is the presence of an undesirable item that spoils the composting process and makes inferior soil material deemed unsuitable for growing purposes. Compost must be nearly entirely free of visual impurities which is why managing contamination is critical. Items such as plastic bags, produce stickers, glass bottles, uncertified compostable products, and other inorganic items should stay out of food scrap and organics collection programs.

The success of the composting industry depends on the strength of the end-markets for finished compost, that is why EcoSafe® heavily focuses on addressing contamination through our food scrap collection programs.

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Food loss and waste occur at each stage of the supply chain. The biggest proportion (about 37%) happens in the home.

ReFED, 2021