Posts Tagged ‘food waste composting’

Ever wondered if composting might be a viable option for you or how difficult it might be to get started?  Composting is something to investigate (and there are thousands of books and websites dedicated to the subject), as current estimates show that roughly 30 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is composed of yard trimmings and food residuals.  Composting provides an option to reduce this amount of waste transported to increasingly dwindling landfill space.

Composting is excellent for the garden and is considered environmentally responsible.  At a basic level, compost is decomposed organic material (think food scraps or yard trimmings).  A mix of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich items is required to produce the best compost.  Examples of nitrogen-rich (or green) items include: coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels/rinds, tea bags, and green leaves.  Examples of carbon-rich (or brown) items include:  cereal boxes, coffee filters, dead or dry leaves, shredded brown paper bags, and straw.  These examples are by no means exhaustive, with many other items being compostable.

For the garden, compost improves plant growth and quality as well as overall soil quality.  Some of the environmental benefits of composting include decreased volume of trash transported to landfills and less reliance on chemical fertilizers (also a positive for your wallet!)

Having a back yard or extra space is helpful, but not necessary for composting.  For small scale composting, there are generally two options available, open-bin or containers.  Plenty of container and closed bin options exist for purchase, with various sizes, including counter-top versions.  With a little creativity and an increased amount of composting programs as well as awareness, even composting in an apartment setting is possible.  If you have access to a back-yard, an open-bin set-up may be ideal.

Extensive literature and sources exist for how to best fit composting into your daily life – it is worth checking out in an effort to see how you can help reduce landfill waste.