Food Waste to Energy: Community Responses and the Potential for Anaerobic Digestion in Madison
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Over-consumption coupled with limited landfill capacity necessitates consideration of alternative waste management strategies, such as anaerobic digestion of organic waste. We investigate the potential of anaerobic digestion in Madison considering the economic, environmental, and social dimensions, as well as the community's responses to organics recycling efforts. Because the success of a household collection program hinges on community participation, our research centers on participant perceptions of the city's Organics Collection Pilot Program. Our research suggests that participants have an overwhelmingly positive opinion of the program with minor suggestions for improvement. Based on these responses, we develop a set of recommendations to address problems as the program expands. These recommendations prioritize improving education and maximizing convenience for participants, while bearing in mind the normative nature of recycling behavior. The results of this study indicate that, with a few minor improvements to the household organics collection program, anaerobic digestion is a promising waste management strategy for Madison.