Let’s Get Composting
Updated: Jul 10, 2019
Are you ready to dig in the dirt and take your composting skills to the next level?
What Is Composting?
Imagine you see an old tree that has fallen in the forest. Most likely, the tree would be breaking apart and have other organisms growing on it or in it. What you would be observing is the process of decomposition, which is the breakdown of materials. Decomposition is also often referred to as decay or rot.
The process of natural decomposition is very important to one type of waste disposal. Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. Although all waste will eventually decompose, only certain waste items are considered compostable and should be added to compost containers. Food waste, such as banana peels, coffee grinds and eggshells, are great items to compost. Adding meat products to compost should be avoided because as it decomposes, it will attract large animals and will smell very badly!
In addition to food waste, yard waste, such as grass clippings and leaves, can also be added to compost containers. These items will help increase decomposition and help reduce odor as materials break down. As with household food waste, there are also some types of yard waste that should be avoided. Perennial weeds, which are plants that come back year after year, should not be added to compost because they will grow back and spread.
Once these waste items are placed in a pile, the composting process can start. The organic materials are broken down naturally by earthworms, bacteria and other organisms that live in soil. Although the composting process can occur without any further human involvement, most composting involves the addition of water and oxygen - which occurs by turning the compost - to speed up the overall process. After several months, when all the organic material is broken down, the final product is created and is often referred to as humus.
Benefits of Composting
Hong Kong sends 3,600+ tonnes of food waste to landfills every day comprised of yard and food waste. By composting these items, it makes it possible to reduce the overall amount of waste being sent to landfills and mass-burn incinerators.
In addition to reducing waste, the process of composting also creates a usable product. The final compost, humus, is nutrient-rich and can be used to amend poor soils and fertilize gardens instead of using chemical fertilizers. The added compost also helps soil retain water and therefore can improve growing conditions.
With compost, you are creating rich humus for your lawn and garden. This adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain soil moisture.
Recycles Kitchen and Yard Waste
Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can. That’s important because when organic matter hits the landfill, it lacks the air it needs to decompose quickly. Instead, it creates harmful methane gas as it breaks down, increasing the rate of global warming and climate change.
Introduces Beneficial Organisms to the Soil
Microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil, break down organic material for plant use, and ward off plant disease.
Good for the Environment
Composting offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers when applied to lawns and garden beds.
Reduces Landfill Waste
Most landfills in North America are quickly filling up; many have already closed down. One-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials. Diverting this waste from the landfill means that our landfills will last longer (and so will our wild spaces).
Is There Anything You Definitely Shouldn’t Put in Your Compost?
Do not compost meat, bones, or fish scraps (they will attract pests) unless you are using a composter designed specifically for this purpose. The Green Cone Solar Waste Digester is one good example.
Avoid composting perennial weeds or diseased plants, since you might spread weed seeds or diseases when spreading your compost.
Don’t include pet manures in compost that will be used on food crops.
Peach peels and orange rinds may contain pesticide residues and should be kept out of the compost.
Black walnut leaves should not be composted.
Sawdust may be added to the compost, but should be mixed or scattered thinly to avoid clumping. Be sure sawdust is clean, with no machine oil or chain oil residues from cutting equipment.
This is the best time to start your own compost at home. If your place has community drop-off bins you can also sign up.
Our coffee capsules are 100% Biodegradable and Compostable so you don’t have to worry about drinking and using coffee capsules everyday. Enjoy your coffee and dispose your coffee grounds and capsules on your compost at home. Remember, there are a lot of ways to return food waste to nature.
We can make change by diverting our food waste from landfills starting today!