Composting is a practice that is probably as old as mankind. But composting at home is still new for many Americans. Yet it doesn't have to be difficult.
While some states have requirements for residential composting of organic waste, it is far from a widespread practice in the U.S. But it should be.
So, What Do They Do with Organic Waste Anyway?
Broadly speaking, there are three destinations for household organic waste - that is, food waste and yard waste, generally: into the solid waste stream, in your own composting system, or into a municipal composting process.
Unfortunately, almost all of the organic waste that does end up in the trash, so to speak, also ends up in landfills. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that the estimated 35.3 million tons of wasted food that went to landfills as recently as 2018 represents 24.1 percent of all MSW (municipal solid waste) that is landfilled.
Or, as one source puts it,
Organic waste consists primarily of everyday items such as product packaging, animal and plant based materials, food scraps, newspapers, cardboard and other paper-based material, and 1 out of every 5 tons being thrown into landfills is organic material that doesn't belong.
So, it's believed that between 20 to 25 percent of all the trash that ends up in our landfills is stuff from our kitchens, our yards, and other similar sources.
But the good news is that, as a nation, we are putting less organic waste into landfills and diverting more of it to other uses.
And what happens with all that waste? Here's an informative chart from the EPA that illustrates the pathways of food waste generation and management:
From Farm to Table to Farm - And Bioenergy
One innovative use of household organic waste is in sewer and wastewater treatment applications. For example, biogas and mineral-rich soil amendments are produced through anaerobic digestion. Facilities then use the biogas produced to fuel an on-site power plants for the energy needs of the treatment plant.
In addition, confined and controlled burning, known as combustion, can not only decrease the volume of solid waste destined for landfills, but can also recover energy from the waste burning process and generate a renewable energy source.
Another products of our organic waste can be compost by way of aerobic composting.
One resource explains that,
Aerobic composting is decomposition of organic matter using microorganisms that require oxygen. The microbes responsible for composting are naturally occurring and live in the moisture surrounding organic matter. Oxygen from the air diffuses in to the moisture and is taken up by the microbes.
Although not an actual bioenergy, compost produced through the process of aerobic composting can be used an excellent soil additive that increases the productivity and workability of the soil.
Whether composted at home or by a local municipal process, it is a far more beneficial and "green" approach to organic waste disposal.
Composting Made Easy- A Simple Checklist
Depending on where you live in the United States, it's possible that you may already be composting as a result of a state or municipal mandate. However, there are currently just a handful of states that require composting in some form.
As one website has reported,
Only five states, including Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island, had state mandates for special treatment of organic goods. However, they vary in their specific details. For instance, Massachusetts banned "the disposal of commercial organic wastes by businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of these materials per week," while California limits businesses to limiting organic waste within a threshold of two cubic yards.
Which means that the majority of households are left to make composting a personal practice by choice.
With that in mind we have put together this handy checklist for simplifying the process at home:
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A possible alternative for many families and individuals is to collect their organic waste and take it to a local composting facility that accepts material from residential contributors. Not all states have sufficient numbers of facilities, but many have upwards of a hundred or more located withing their borders.
Junk King for Green Residential Waste Removal and Disposal
Yard debris and other types of organic waste can be made up of many types of things. And almost all of them are hard or messy to work with.
Even worse, not all of it can go into your compost bins or even in your household recycling bin.
So, what do you do with the "excess" yard waste or the bulk quantities of debris from outdoor cleaning or landscaping projects? Especially if you still have piles of dirt and debris everywhere in your yards?
No worries! Jus call Junk King for fast, reliable, and affordable yard waste removal service.
And, unlike the backseat of or trunk of the family car, our junk removal trucks are made to handle those dirty yard debris items.
Our professional and insured yard waste removal team will show up at your home and we'll call you 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site. Also, we will provide you with a free estimate based on how much room your yard waste and other debris takes up in our truck.
All you'll need to do is just point and we'll haul your waste into our junk removal trucks - and with no hidden fees.
So, need to get rid of excess green waste? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).