When things that were once living (organic waste) get thrown in the trash and end up in a landfill, they break down slowly over decades. As they decompose without oxygen, they release methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. Composting uses the natural cycle of decay to turn plant-based trash into a rich material that feeds plants and builds soil. Explore the pages in this section and the Compost Corner at the Green Learning Station to learn more about setting up a compost system that works for you.
What is Composting? How can it Benefit You?
Composting is a way to use the natural process of decomposition to benefit your garden.
It’s economical –
Yard waste alone represents 16% of the waste stream; material that heads to the landfill. In many areas, homeowners are asked to place their yard waste in special bags and are charged extra money by their waste hauling companies. Add kitchen waste to that, and you end up with up to 30% of the waste stream. Composting is free.
It’s convenient –
With a compost pile in the back yard, you save the time and effort of bagging, tying, carrying and hauling yard waste to the curb or drop off site. A compost pile requires a minimum of effort to produce a valuable product.
It makes soil healthier –
Organic compost loosens soil for better root growth, improves the ability of a soil to hold water, and boosts the amount of available plant nutrients in your soil.
It helps recycle a large amount of waste —
If you compost both your kitchen scraps and yard waste, you will be amazed at how much lighter your trash can is on garbage day!