So you’ve mastered the basics of recycling, but you’d like to further decrease your impact on our local landfills and the environment. Composting is a great way to cut down on the amount of food waste and green waste (grass clippings, plant trimmings, leaves, etc.) that you throw out each month. The EPA estimates that about 27% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is made up of food and yard wastes, but much of it can actually be diverted from the landfill and composted instead.
An important conversation is buzzing right now locally and nationally about food waste. This past April a mandatory organics recycling law went into effect in California, requiring businesses generating 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week to divert it from the landfill. The nationwide campaign supported by the Ad Council is a call to action to end the 300 lbs. of food the average person tosses away each year.
Composting is the process of decomposing organic material into a humus-like substance by microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, and macro-organisms, like worms and insects. The benefits of composting go beyond saving landfill space. Composting benefits your garden by improving soil texture and nutrient levels and saves water by increasing the water holding capacity of soil. The best thing about composting is that anyone can do it, whether you live in a home or an apartment.