Can we all just agree that less material putrefying in landfills across this country would be a good thing? Great. So now that we’ve gotten over that hurdle, we can tackle the big, ugly and almost completely closeted fact that we are essentially being buried in a dearth of debris. There are over thirty-five hundred landfills in this country which, I’ve heard, handle somewhere in the range of two hundred fourteen million tons of solid waste each year. And though some of that is just what you’d think – sullied diapers, gleaming gift wrapping, spent product packaging and the like – quite a bit of the load is green waste – recyclable, compostable and usable material. But what to do with it?
The answer is easy – compost. Not only does composting keep otherwise untapped resources out of the trash pile, but it actually puts it to good use. The dark, crumbly, rich material produced from the deliberate breakdown of plant materials like yard debris and kitchen scraps (a.k.a. trash) adds valuable nutrients to hungry soils, improves drainage and even helps to reduce erosion. So why aren’t we all doing it? Maybe it’s because misconception abounds.
Though there are headaches often associated with the composting process, it can basically be as user-friendly as you want make it. Composters come in all shapes and sizes and cater to all types of needs. There’s even vermiculture (worm composting) to consider. Why not let the creepy crawlies do all the labor. It works at my house. I haven’t turned a compost bin in years.
It really doesn’t matter which method or device you choose. What matters most is that you compost in one form or another. Our plants and soils will be all the healthier for it and, frankly, we might even find ourselves rising to the top of what is fast becoming an ever-burgeoning heap of opportunity.