Landfills do not create an ideal environment for organic matter to decompose. They stack garbage up, metals, plastic, paper, non-compostables which all deter the biodegradation of foods and other organic matter. If you have a home compost, you can turn the material to help it break down, you can use the compost along with soil for your garden, and the less you send to the landfill, the longer the landfill can operate, the less garbage being piled up. The first step in the 3 R’s is reduce. If we reduce the waste we create, we reduce our impact.
In addition to the reasons given above, composting your food scraps at home makes the entire waste disposal system more efficient. If everyone kept a compost heap at home and disposed of their food waste that way, it removes one type of waste that landfills need to handle. The potential inconvenience it causes to people is a small cost compared to the huge benefit that it would create for the system as a whole. Composting would cut short the disposal process, which, as mentioned above, help keep our landfills open for longer.
According to the EPA, composting materials instead of putting them in a landfill can also reduce the amount of methane and leachate produced, both of which can leach into the ground or into water systems, including groundwater and streams where they can cause a number of harmful effects. Composting would also save money (for landfills) because it allows the landfill to stay open longer and reduces the amount of clean-up they have to do when the surrounding area is contaminated. Hopefully if the landfills can spend less, they can do a better job on the clean-up they still have to do.
We are composting all of our kitchen waste, paper products and yard waste with worms right in our dining room. Started in June and it couldn’t be easier. With a five rotating tray composting machine, I supply roughly 2000 worms with about 3-5 lbs of garbage/week. I try and maintain a balance of 60% kitchen waste to 40% paper, wood cardboard, fiber. After 6 weeks we mixed the rich worm castings w. potting soil (30/70 mix) Nitrigen-rich but fairly acidic for the first 60 days- roses love it!
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