Composting at Home: Going Green
CONSULT YOUR WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO ORGANIZE A COMPOSTING PROGRAM – YOU WILL BE THE START OF SOMETHING NEW! START COMPOSTING YOUR OWN YARD WASTE NOW AND HAVE SOIL BY THE SPRING…
Across the United States, people are finding more and more places to deposit their compost, such as at farmers’ markets or green spaces. Once a farming and home economist tradition, composting is finding revitalization. This movement is growing in popularity as an effort to improve the state of the earth.
- More than 40% of all food produced in America is not eaten
- More than 29 million tons of food waste is produced each year
- Food scraps make up 17% of what we send to landfills in the United States
- The average American wastes more than ½ pound of food each day
- 25% of what enters our homes is not eaten, when you count what we put down the disposal and throw out
- American restaurants throw away more than 6000 tons of food every day, according to some calculations
- Food costs America more than $100 billion annually, according to the same studies
- The average four-person household wastes about $600 of food each year
What does wasted food mean for the environment?
Wasting food misuses the time, energy, and resources in money and oil that are needed to produce that food. The food winds up costing more to the earth than the purchase price, because more energy is needed to dispose of the waste than is used to produce the food.
Food rotting in landfills contributes to global warming by causing methane emissions or greenhouse gasses.
Wet food waste is the main threat to groundwater or stream pollution, in addition to the potential for leaks and runoff from some landfills.
How does composting help the environment?
Composting is great for the environment, because compost is:
- Essential for growing plants and produce
- Great for the environment by reducing waste that goes into landfills
What can I compost?
You can compost any organic material, either plant or animal. This includes:
- Vegetable scraps
- Tea bags
- Eggs and egg shells
- Paper, unwaxed paper plates and paper napkins
- Peels and rinds
Basically, you can compost anything that comes from the earth, including:
- Grass and shrub clippings
- Fresh manure (horse, chicken, rabbit, cow)
- Kitchen scraps
- Green leaves
- Leftover produce from the garden or kitchen
- Brown, dry leaves
- Dried grass
- Cornstalks (shredded)
- Sawdust (in moderation; see next section)
How do I compost?
You can compost several different ways.
An airtight bucket in the kitchen: Keep the bucket either in your refrigerator or on the countertop. Take it to a composting spot (usually at your farmers’ market) each week. Most major cities have composting collection Web sites listed on the Internet. Although Erie County has only one compost site for biosolids in Gowanda, there is a compost site in Amherst and one in Orchard park for yard waste. See List of Compost Facilities in New York State
This is my composter for the kitchen – you can feel the heat it gives off! We separate our compost from the garbage in hopes Waste Management will begin to pick it up. At our summer cottage in Canada, the city provided composters and picks up our refuse once a week. So we’re moving in the right direction!
Open compost bin: Choose a designated spot and make a container without a lid for “green” materials. Allow rainwater and air to accelerate the process of making the compost. This type of bin may attract pests and animals, so many people choose to top their open container with a layer of straw.
Closed compost bin: Many people choose to purchase a compost bin, which comes with directions for making successful compost. These are good choices for gardeners, who use the compost to plant and grow their seeds. An online search can help find the one that is right for you.
Our closed composter out in the back yard is ideal – place yard waste and my perennials in the top at the end of the season and by spring open the bottom to scoop out fresh compost to grow your garden the next year.
for more information!
AFTER RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING THERE IS VERY LITTLE GARBAGE LEFT! EACH ONE OF US CAN TAKE THIS STEP TO HELP SAVE THE EARTH!!