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Guest Opinion | Joan Aarestad: Doing the Right Thing on Food Waste Management

Published on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 | 2:09 pm

The environmentalists won their first major battle—if not the war—over the handling of our food waste. After an outpouring of community support for providing more local composting options, the Pasadena City Council voted unanimously to continue studying organic waste collections with an eye towards developing possibilities other than its collection in plastic bags in yard waste bins.

According to people knowledgeable about the process, the coming months will be spent learning more about resources already available in the community and whether they can be scaled up.

To some, the battle lines drawn are reminiscent of the fight over the preservation of historic architecture in Old Town Pasadena decades ago. During that era, beautiful historic structures were routinely razed and ugly rectangular boxes constructed in their place. It wasn’t until one woman, Claire Bogaard, put her foot down and took on the Establishment. She won the battle and the City of Pasadena’s love of historic architecture has flourished ever since.

There are parallels in the food fight between the environmentalists and the big trash people. The tipping point has not yet been reached, but there is hope that more elegant solutions will help our community thrive through better food waste management, new jobs in the environmental field and the incubation of innovative products. One such project underway is to perfect solar powered insulated coolers to store organic food wastes until collection time.

Perhaps those who love to walk around the Rose Bowl each day will soon be given the opportunity to make an offering to Mother Nature’s compost pile and some day smell the roses that thrive because of their donations.

Joan Aarestad is President of the East Arroyo Residents Association

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