Read the full story from Princeton University.
In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is covered in lush, vine-laden forest.
A team led by Princeton University researchers surveyed the land 16 years after the orange peels were deposited. They found a 176 percent increase in aboveground biomass — or the wood in the trees — within the 3-hectare area studied (7 acres). Their results are published in the journal Restoration Ecology.
This story, which involves a contentious lawsuit, showcases the unique power of agricultural waste to not only regenerate a forest but also to sequester a significant amount of carbon at no cost.