I Thought I Knew About Composting…
I remember starting my first composting project years ago and being a little hesitant, then I did some investigating. Before my research concluded, I thought that even a simple compost pile would take up a ton of space. I thought it would stink. I thought that my organic waste would decompose on it’s own in a landfill. Well, I am here to tell you that I was wrong on all counts and when my research was finished, I knew it had to be done…and quickly at that!
My biggest motivator was my hatred of landfills. I learned that around 50% of the garbage found in today’s landfills the world over is taken up by food and paper products.
That fact absolutely blew me away!
All that waste could go to organic waste facilities like compost or recycling centers, but instead it was going to waste in a landfill. At first I thought “OK, at least these organic materials can break down since they are out in the elements”…
…then I did a little more research.
What I Learned About Composting…
When garbage is piled on top of garbage in enormous piles, such as in a landfill, they are unable to decompose due to a lack of oxygen. Without oxygen, the cultures, microbes, and micro-organisms that eat away and help to decompose organic waste material are not able to survive. And of course what happens when waste doesn’t decompose?
You guessed it; it builds, and builds and builds. Without these compost cultures, those food scraps and paper products stack on top of each other over time, making the problem worse and taking up more and more space over time.
If we compost our organic waste including food scraps and paper products, we can all do our part to reduce the immense landfills. It is simple to do, especially if you have a little yard space or a neighborhood that supports composting (check out my previous post on composting for beginners).
The simplest way to do this is to build a compost bin in your yard and add to it as you need, also known as passive composting. By keeping it shallow and watering it (or exposing it to rain) on a regular basis, it will decompose naturally. If you would like to speed up the process, just try these three simple steps:
- Make sure it is warm and moist
- Add Worms
- Rotate it with a shovel or pitchfork
Community compost heaps can also be ideal if the neighborhood you are in is adamant about adding to it. In this way, the heap can grow and generate heat, which is necessary for those little organic eating microbes to tear through the compost pile.
This is a brief look at the detriment we cause by not composting, but I will have more information very soon on how to create compost piles, good bins to use, and where in your yard is ideal placement for your compost, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here is the latest info to chew on:
Compost and Composting News (automatically updated, so my apologies if once in awhile something off-topic pops up)
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And as always, please don’t forget to leave a comment about composting or your particular composting experience!