Composting can seem like a complex and stinky beast to tackle. The mainstream waste management method is to throw everything in the trash. But composting is a solution for food scraps and organic materials to take on new life.
When food is thrown in the trash and brought to a landfill, the food gets trapped in trash bags. Then, the scraps cannot break down as they would be naturally. The food continues to break down in trash bags releasing methane for hundreds of years.
Composting breaks down food naturally. The (otherwise wasted) food scraps mix with other organic materials such as leaves, dirt, and worms. Then, the compost is provided with an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposing organisms (such as worms, sowbugs, and nematodes) to do their work. The outcome is nutrient-rich soil.
At-home compost systems can be great to use for potted plants or a garden. Instead of throwing food scraps into the trash, keep them in a box outside to mix with your compost pile. At-home composting has a few steps:
1. Collect food scraps (eggshells, vegetable, fruit, *no meat)
2. Mix food scraps with organic materials (greens, browns)
3. Sprinkle with water and mix regularly
4. Use nutritious soil for potted plants and gardens
If you live in an apartment or don’t have a backyard, community gardens are a great place to bring your food scraps. ShareWaste.com is a platform connecting community members with local composting solutions. In many places across the nation, neighbors ban together to conquer food waste.
Commercial compost facilities can be complicated to utilize as an individual. Municipalities and towns usually have more significant amounts for commercial use. Philly plans to open 12 new composting sites for community members to divert food waste from landfills. These facilities break down mass amounts of organic materials using high heat and moisture.
With environmental awareness growing, household technologies are making game-changing innovations. Below are some technologies that can make composting easier:
A countertop solution that turns to dirt in 12 hours! This white, circular appliance looks modern and sleek. One press of a button to get the composting started.
Lomi is an expensive investment. Hopefully, it can be an advancement towards affordable, sustainable household gadgets.
This is a great backyard solution. Subpod is a built-in composting system and garden bed. Just add the food scraps to the pod and watch your garden grow.
Local businesses have formed pick-up compost services. Services can cost around $20 a week for pick-up. New Jersey’s Garden State Compost has provided composting services to over 14 towns.
Thanks for learning more about compost. Hopefully, these insights add to your composting journey. Again, compost can be a stinky beast to tackle, but learning more can help make it easier for you. Check out what resources are in your community to help support your Imperfect Eco mission.