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Composting Programs

FOOD AND OTHER ORGANIC WASTE MAKE UP AN
ESTIMATED 40% - 50% OF ALL HOUSEHOLD WASTE.

Many local governments and waste management services now have organic waste programs that collect from our curbsides or at local depots. They take the food and other waste that used to go to landfills and turn it into compost that enriches our soil.

With much less going into landfills, local governments can avoid the cost and community environmental impacts of creating new landfill sites.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced from the amount released if organic waste decomposes in landfills and the gases escape into the air.

The organic waste is converted to create products such as fertilizer, compost and other soil amendment products that improve the access of plants to water and air in the soil to improve their growth.

Some organic waste processing facilities are designed to capture gases such as methane for use as fuel.

APPROACHES TO COMPOSTING

THERE ARE TWO MAIN APPROACHES TO MUNICIPAL AND COMMERCIAL COMPOSTING AND FOOD, LEAF & YARD WASTE PROGRAMS.

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Aerobic

AEROBIC

In aerobic composting, the organic materials are usually placed in long piles or enclosed boxes. They are kept very moist and warm. Oxygen often flows continuously into the pile. This encourages microorganisms to break down those materials.

Depending on conditions, the compost can be ready to be put to work to improve the soils for new plant growth after a few weeks.

Anaerobic

ANAEROBIC

In anaerobic digestion systems, the organic materials are put into sealed chambers. Othertypes of microorganisms break the materials down to create biogases such as methane used for renewable energy.

After the anaerobic process is done, any remaining organic matter from the chamber often goes through aerobic composting or is used directly to enrich agricultural soils

Biodegradable is not the same as 100% compostable
#curbsidecompostable
LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPOSTING IN THE USA LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPOSTING IN CANADA

HOME & BACKYARD COMPOSTING

Millions of people use home and backyard composting to generate the compost they use around their own homes and gardens and to reduce their own environmental footprint. PURPOD100™ has been certified to break down in most large scale industrial or commercial composting facilities. Testing is just beginning to determine how well it works in home and backyard composters, especially as local climate and individual composting practices can influence results.

The composting process works best when the organic pieces are small. Weeds and trimmings should be shredded.

Vegetables

Don't add thick layers of any one kind of waste. Grass should not be more than 6 cm deep, leaves up to 15 cm deep (cut or chop or dry and crumble them). If you can, let grass dry first or mix it with dry, coarse material such as leaves to prevent compacting.

Kid Smelling Plant

The composter contents should be moist like a wrung-out sponge. If the contents are too dry, it will take overly long to compost; and if too wet, the contents may begin to smell.

Tomatoe

Turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks or each time you add new material. This keeps the compost well aerated.

Woman with Shovel

You can add materials to your composter all winter long. The breakdown process slows down or stops when the pile is frozen, but it will start up again in the spring. Thorough turning in the spring will reactivate the pile.

Watering Plant

Compost is ready to be used when it is dark in color, crumbly and has an "earthy" smell. You can sift the compost to eliminate material which has not yet finished composting. Return that material to the pile to complete its transformation into compost.

Community Garden