Composting is a natural process that converts organic waste – like food and yard waste – into nutrient-rich soil amendment often called “humus” or compost. When we compost organic waste in our backyards, we create a natural environment where decomposer organisms – like bacteria, insects, worms and fungi – can break down organic waste and recycle nutrients back into the soil. Composting lets us recycle just like nature does.
Why is composting important?
Reduces Waste Sent to the Landfill – It may be surprising to learn that organic waste represents as much as 30% of the waste we generate in Newfoundland and Labrador. Composting programs can reduce the amount of waste we send to our overburdened landfills.
Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Organics buried in a landfill break down very slowly and without the presence of oxygen. When this happens, methane gas – a greenhouse gas – is produced.
Reduces Pollution – When organics break down without the presence of oxygen, as they do at the landfill, a toxic liquid known as leachate (the liquid that runs from a dump) is produced. Leachate can pollute our soil and drinking water sources.
Reduces the Need for Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides – Finished compost (or humus) is a rich, natural fertilizer that returns valuable nutrients back into the soil promoting the growth of healthy plants.
Lowers Waste Disposal Costs – Putting less waste to the curb also means less waste has to be collected and transported; therefore lowering waste disposal costs.