Compost is decomposed organic matter. Organic matter is, in simple terms, things that were once alive (composed of carbon). This includes plants, animal, microbial, and fungal materials. There are many ways to make compost, including backyard piles, worm bins, and industrial operations.
- Compost is a time release fertilizer and returns valuable nutrients to the soil when used as a fertilizer or mulch.
- Composting saves money otherwise spent on trash bags and fertilizers.
- Compost acts as a sponge, helping the soil to absorb more water.
- Compost improves soil structure, loosening up heavy clay soils so that plant roots can grow better.
- Compost has lots of beneficial microorganisms that help reduce plant disease
- Compost can act as a pH buffer for both alkaline and acidic soils.
- Finished compost has no risk of burning plants, as can happen with synthetic fertilizers.
- Compost can help break down and minimize the effects of toxic chemicals remaining in the soil from past chemical applications.
- 30% of residential waste can be composted.
- Composting diverts matter from landfills.
- Composting food waste reduces methane production that occurs in anaerobic environments – like landfills. Methane is a prominent greenhouse gas that contributes greatly to global climate change.
- Composting cuts down gasoline use because less matter is transported to landfills.
You can learn about several different types of composting right here! Feel free to find out more and click on the links about composting in your backyard or composting using worms.