Composting used to be the way folks would get rid of scraps. Growing up, my grandmother had a bowl which sat on the counter and she would toss whatever needed to go into the compost pile into it throughout the day. When it started getting dark outside she would have one of us kids go out and throw it on the pile and the bowl would be washed for the next day. Of course dinner was already underway at this point and no more cutting of vegetables was needed.
By the time they moved out of that house and back up north there were two very big piles of compost. This is what was used to sustain the garden out back and help in the pottings that were done.
In our area there is a lot of effort by local clubs to encourage composting. The main problem being the lack of a place to compost at. Having compost is lovely but the pile of leftover vegetables, fruit peels, grass, leaves and whatnot doesn't smell very good. Pair this with the relatively small lots we have and how close our neighbors are and the incentive doesn't always convince people to do it.
My compost pile has gone through phases and apparently I didn't always throw stuff in there that was too far gone. Sometimes we have onions or potatoes or whatnot that start to look kind of old and spotty so out they go. Just yesterday I looked back there while watering the plants that really do think it's already spring and there were onion tops springing out of where the compost pile used to be (I moved it over 4 feet). Who knows what else might be trying to grow. Possibly pepper plants since I throw the seeds out there too.