I think Americans are so against composting because of the perception that it smells bad and attracts animals. However, if you put it in a bin, this perfectly solves the problem. All you have to get is a lid. Anyways, if you don’t want the bin, it is going int the woods anyways, so who cares. Americans are sometimes ignorant my friends (although I am proudly an American).
I agree with the above answer, but would also like to add that I think it’s a bit of the “icky” factor. Most people simply detest the thought of getting dirty at all, especially touching older or rotten food. I mean a lot people nowadays won’t even clean their own homes because it grosses them out, for lack of a better word. People have become to sensitive and easily disgusted at the idea of perfectly natural ideas.
There’s a variety of factors that contribute to not composting. One of the top reasons, i would speculate, is lack of awareness about it (which tends to be generational…most of the people my age just aren’t familiar with the practice). Then another factor is space— there are quite a few people living in apartments or townhomes with no patio or very small outdoor areas. A third factor, and probably most relevant to those who ARE familiar with composting and DO have the space for it but still CHOOSE not to….is force of habit. It’s easier for them to dispose of things in a trash or down the drain than it is to manage a heap of compost. And, definitely, the ick factor plays in some cases like mentioned above.
I think Americans believe it takes a lot of work. While you do generally need to keep a green to brown ratio and turn compost piles for optimal composting, I think people think it may take a lot more work than it is. Additionally, many Americans do not keep a garden, so perhaps they do not think they will get much benefit out of it. We are too disconnected from what happens to our trash after we put it at the curbside to realize the impact we are having.
I agree with all of the above posts. From personal experience, the people I have talked to worry about the smell and having pests be around their house all of the time. With a properly cared for compost bin, these things won’t happen. (http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/composting/by_compost.htm) Others simply are apathetic, and would rather not sort their trash and maintain a compost pile. They would much rather buy their fertilizer from a store and throw away all of their trash that could be reused in an efficient way. Mostly, I think people are worried about the smell and the upkeep.
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