The disposal of green waste, also called organics, in landfills has a destructive impact on the environment. It takes up a lot of space and produces harmful gases that contribute to climate change. However, if recycled, organic waste can make the Earth safer, healthier, and more sustainable. Organics waste can not only help the environment but it can help you and your garden, too.
A Global Issue
Composting is one of the best ways to recycle organic waste properly. Compost benefits the environment by reducing the burden on landfills. And it reduces climate change by returning carbon into the ground. Soil can store more carbon than the Earth’s atmosphere and plant life combined.
But soils lose a significant amount of carbon due to human activity such as construction and grading. Adding compost sequesters carbon into the soil, preventing its release into the atmosphere, where it becomes a greenhouse gas. As an added benefit, compost enriches the soil with nutrients in the process.
For these reasons and more, composting is a critical practice. By examining the micro and macro effects of and methodologies for composting, we hope you will start recycling organic waste into compost by the time you finish reading this piece.
David and Goliath
From a micro perspective, composting is an incredible benefit for your garden. Adding carbon makes soil healthier, which leads to tastier fruits and vegetables, and grows bigger, brighter colored plants.
From a macro perspective, composting is essential to a healthy environment. Composting contributes to a healthier atmosphere and soil, which is the foundation for plant life. These elements are critical to sustaining life, as we know it.
Understanding how crucial composting is, let’s look at three ways to go about it:
- backyard composting,
- vermicomposting, and
- industrial composting.
Backyard composting is the most common form. It’s an easy process. Essentially, all you need is a corner of your backyard. Start your composting pile by:
- collecting food scraps and garden cuttings,
- adding paper or dried-out leaves, and
- turning it over occasionally.
Vermicomposting adds worms to the process, which speeds up the breakdown of organic matter into compost. It is a tiered system of composting; you can see each step of the process.
The top tier is where most of the work takes place. It is where you put organic waste, food scraps, and worms.
As the organics break down, they fall through each tier. Highly nutritious liquid ends up at the bottom tier. The tier just above the bottom is fine, ready-to-use compost.
Backyard composting is ideal for large gardens. Vermicomposting requires very little space and can be stored inside.
The Global Solution
Backyard composting and vermicomposting are great solutions on a small scale. But to tackle food waste’s immense impact on the world requires industrial composting. Such large-scale composting involves a lot of heavy equipment and technology.
Athens Services has one of the largest and most advanced composting facilities, American Organics. It incorporates the latest technology in composting, including the covered aerated static pile (CASP) system.
Athens collects food and other organic waste from your home or business and takes it to American Organics. There, it is weighed to calculate diversion and sorted to remove contamination. The remaining material goes through a grinder to help increase oxygen flow. The material is then piled and soaked with recycled water.
Next, the wet material goes to the CASP system, which forces air through the piles and speeds up compost production. When ready, the material then goes through another screener to produce even finer compost.
Athens produces compost from a blend of organics material, including green waste, wood waste, and food scraps. The compost produced is some of the most nutrient-rich in the industry.
The compost is sold to large agriculture companies, which use it on farms. Athens also donates thousands of pounds of compost every year to communities they serve. The compost meets quality standards set by the Organic Materials Review Institute and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The Many Benefits of Composting
- helps to produce beautiful and healthy crops and landscapes
- diverts materials from landfills
- avoids releasing unnecessary greenhouse gases
- puts carbon back into the soil.
Applying compost to many types of land is a tremendous weapon in the fight to reduce the effects of climate change. When you apply compost to your garden, it can start a chain reaction of carbon storage in soil that can last for years.
To learn more about composting at home or industrial composting, visit athensservices.com and follow @athensservices on all social media platforms.