Why Compost

Most people do not realize that there are real problems associated with placing organic waste, especially food waste, into landfills.

Doesn’t nature look after this process naturally?

It is generally held that because food waste is biodegradable no harm results from letting it decay naturally in landfills. Continuing to think this way means that we have landfills that are many times larger than they need to be, and they produce toxins rather than usable composted organic waste.

Consider these alternatives for disposal of biodegradable wastes:

  • Truck the waste to a landfill site to be mixed with other wastes and allowed to decay naturally.
  • Separate biodegradable food waste from the rest of the waste stream and compost it locally.

Food waste occupies most of the space in landfills

Allowing organic waste to decay in landfills has a negative impact both environmentally and economically, and has quite different outcomes from using a local composter. Simply separating out biodegradable waste from the other waste to compost naturally would cause problems with odours and flies, and would not greatly reduce the amount of space needed. Natural decomposition also takes a long time.

The biogas or mixture of gases that is generated in a landfill by interacion of all of the waste products generally is made up of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and is often contaminated, sometimes by heavy metals like mercury.


By composting locally using machines designed for the purpose, the majority of biogas vented is composed of (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) with trace amounts of the other gases without heavy metal contamination. The end product is a rich biomass that can be used as fertilizer for gardening or for balancing soil composition and adjusting its pH levels. It has also been used as fill to reduce runoffs and erosion.

There are several other positive economic consequences.


Reducing the amount of food waste placed into the waste stream lowers the cost of maintaining a landfill site. It will be smaller, less polluting and easier to maintain. Trucking costs for hauling the garbage to disposal sites are also greatly reduced. Some businesses and hotels have been able to save thousands of dollars a year in operating costs by adopting local on-site composting techniques for food wastes.

“Reduce, recycle and reuse” is a popular catch phrase of the “go green” movement and local composting helps achieve all three objectives. By reducing the amount of food waste produced, and by composting food waste locally we reducing the amount of money spent each year on waste management. By recycling our food waste through local composting our world becomes greener and cleaner. By reusing the final product as fertilizer, soil conditioner or biofuel we complete the cycle, and contribute to a better world.


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