Why compost?

Credit: Carol Pope


I’ve had people reassure me that food waste thrown in the garbage will simply break down at the landfill. While I wish that were true, it is not. NatureMill does a good job of addressing this issue:
Food and paper decompose by themselves in nature. They are, however, the two largest components in landfills, accounting for nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste. There is more food and paper in landfills than diapers, styrofoam, and tires — combined. According to the US EPA, food waste is the #1 least recycled material.

Landfills are layered deep and saturated with water. No oxygen can penetrate. As a result, even “biodegradable” waste will remain embalmed for centuries to come. Landfills produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and leach toxic chemicals into our air and drinking water.

Just think – we avoid all this when we compost – and we’re boosting our gardens to boot!