In the second part of the benefits of composting, we cite five more reasons to collect leftover food and containers and divert them from the waste stream to a certified composting facility.
6. COMPOST REDUCES POLLUTION
The Environmental Protection Agency credits compost with helping to degrade polluted soils. Its research has found that compost has eliminated pesticides, wood preservatives and other contaminants. In addition, compost has been shown to bind heavy metals, preventing their migration to rivers and lakes and absorption by plants.
7. DECREASES THE NEED FOR FERTILIZERS
Compost is a cheaper, more effective alternative to chemical fertilizers. Fertilizers can leach into water sources, harm root stocks, and deposit trace amounts of harmful heavy metals. Even worse, fertilizers kill the microbes that make soil fertile creating a lifelong dependency on fertilizer use. Compost, on the other hand, releases its nutrients slowly allowing soils to retain and enrich its organic matter.
8. REDUCES THE USE OF PESTICIDES
Compost provides a healthy home for earthworms, centipedes, and all kinds of bugs that thrive in the organic matter. At the same time, it’s been shown that compost produces plants with fewer plant insect problems. By reducing the need for pesticides, compost provides a safer, more natural solution.
9. COMPOST CAN BE SOLD
It’s a marketable commodity. There’s a demand for quality compost and waste companies which have invested in composting facilities are now reselling it to local farmers and gardeners.
10. COMPOSTING IS ALTRUISTIC
It’s a “feel good” and gratifying action. By composting you’re giving back to the land, are more aware of garbage and recycling, and more likely, to be an advocate for a less wasteful society.
Yes, compost does sound too good-to-be-true in its natural ability to reduce water usage, fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, by diverting waste from landfills, it cuts back on methane production and leaching.
Americans need to embrace compost as a low-cost, natural alternative to protect and nourish our farmland. Besides collecting food waste, households need to seek out and use disposable servingware and boxes made from compostable material. Think about it as a gift to mom … that is, Mother Earth.