Composting is a natural process that turns organic material into a nutrient-rich soil amendment (compost) that is valuable to industries and the environment. Composting diverts materials away from landfills, which are costly and are an unsustainable method of waste disposal. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, buried waste is the #1 source of human-caused methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to global warming. When organic material like food and yard waste decomposes in an anaerobic, or oxygen-free, environment like a landfill, methane gas is produced. Since composting diverts these materials from landfills, it thereby reduces the amount of methane gas that ends up in our atmosphere.
Composting enriches soils, contributes to the cleanup of contaminated soils, is a deterrent to erosion, helps prevent pollution, and creates an economic benefit since it reduces the dependency on water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
Facts about Composting
- Landfills are the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions in the United States, accounting for 34% of those emissions. Methane emissions from landfills are created by landfill gas that is generated from buried and decaying organic materials
- Composting avoids significant methane emissions from landfills, increases carbon storage in soils, and improves plant growth, which in turn expands carbon sequestration
- Composting is vital to restoring the climate and our soils
- Composting provides the option to remediate landfills and reuse the organics as a valuable blend