BackyardComposting

Download your free Composting Guide from Cuyahoga County, Ohio

The Benefits of Composting


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Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments, and you can use it instead of commercial fertilizers. Best of all, compost is cheap. You can make it without spending any money. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants. The organic matter provided in compost provides food for microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus will be produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

Most gardeners have long understood the value of this rich, dark, earthy material in improving the soil and creating a healthful environment for plants. Understanding how to make and use compost is in the public interest, as the problem of waste disposal climbs toward a crisis level. Landfills are brimming, and new sites are not likely to be easily found. For this reason there is an interest in conserving existing landfill space and in developing alternative methods of dealing with waste. Don’t throw away materials when you can use them to improve your lawn and garden! Start composting instead.

A solution to the waste problem

Our hands are being forced to deal creatively with our own yard waste, as one by one, cities are refusing to haul off our leaves and grass clippings. About one third of the space in landfills is taken up with organic waste from our yards and kitchens, just the type of material that can be used in compost. With a small investment in time, you can contribute to the solution to a community problem, while at the same time enriching the soil and improving the health of the plants on your property.

Did you know that home composting for just 12 months can save greenhouse gases equivalent to all the carbon-dioxide your washing machine produces in three months.

Forty-five percent of the average rubbish bag could be composted – that’s a huge waste of space in our landfills.  In landfills, garden and kitchen waste break down into methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, and leachate, a significant water pollutant.

In-sink waste disposal units use water when operating and also mix food scraps into the waste water system.  This places undue pressure on the sewer system and treatment plants, because these were not designed to handle the increased amounts of organic material.   Getting rid of these kitchen waste materials in this way is very expensive and also result in wastage of valuable nutrients contained in organic material that would benefit our soil.

Sending organic waste to a central site means losing the nutrient value that can add value to your land.  Additionally, carbon dioxide will be created through the transportation and processing of waste.

Home composting is better than any other way of disposing of domestic organic waste and is the most eco-friendly way to process food and garden waste.