Ecological Benefits of Composting
Thirty percent of waste in the U.S. is due to yard and food waste. Polls indicate that up to 91 percent of the people who try composting continue composting and enjoy the benefits.
When biodegradable materials combine with non-organic materials in our landfills, they have a toxic effect, releasing gases and contaminating liquids that gather in and seep from waste piles into underground water supplies. Approximately 75 percent of landfills in the U.S. do not contain protective linings to stop water contamination caused by mercury, lead, and other contaminants. Through composting, heavy metals in the ground prevent contaminants from reaching water sources.
Composting cools the soil and alters the rate that water passes through soil, reducing erosion. Composting improves the ground's ability to hold water, thus decreasing water consumption. Use of compost improves soil pH and suppresses some soil-borne plant pathogens and supplies soil with beneficial microorganisms and micronutrients. Compost is capable of destroying some pollutants.
Personal Benefits of Composting
A variety of compost bins, worm composters, and compost tumblers are available to make composting easier. In your garden, compost opens up soil, reduces excessive airflow, and limits levels of alkaline and acid. Compost improves soil structure, density, and porosity for higher plant yields originating from a healthier plant-root environment. Compost allows propagation of insects and nourishes earthworms as they burrow through the soil, leaving a path of nourishing castings for plant roots to thrive upon.
Soil is depleted of nutrients by plants and microbial activity, resulting in continually decreasing yields. Composting restores those nutrients to the ground. In essence, composting reduces or nullifies the need for dangerous fertilizers and pesticides for a healthier garden. There are different levels of composting and variations of equipment (compost bins and compost tumblers) that turn and aerate compost to speed up the decomposing process. Composting and caring for the environment makes good health sense for families today and invests in the health and prosperity of future generations.