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Compost in Our Community

This spring, we’re spreading the love of sustainability throughout our community! We’ve teamed up with St. Monica in Indianapolis to help educate their students on the importance of environmental responsibility. We were the primary funders for the school’s new recycle/compost bin, and we’re looking forward to seeing the impact. Are you, your family, office, church, or social group looking for a great way to give back? Consider a compost project!

Benefits of Composting

For a school of 500, starting a compost bin and promoting waste-free lunches can save as much as 33,500 pounds of garbage from going to our landfills every year. Think of all the paper napkins and milk cartons used in just a single lunch period! Since landfill space is so valuable, letting food and paper waste decompose in a compost pile has enormous benefits.

Composting is better for the environment because the decomposition process is aerobic, or “with oxygen.” For aerobic composting to work properly, the piles are occasionally turned so the material get a fresh breath of air. Landfill trash, on the other hand, is starved of oxygen. Without it, those decomposing piles put out the greenhouse gas methane and hydrogen sulfide. (That’s the gas with the rotten egg smell).

When we can reduce the amount of waste added to landfills, we’re able to reduce those gases. Plus, we’re saving on the cost of needlessly trucking that food waste to the landfill site.

Compost at Your Home

But why stop in schools? Composting at home is equally easy. Nearly 25% of Americans’ garbage is food and yard waste, and landfills are already overflowing. It’s much better to put those grass clippings and old fruits and veggies to use as organic fertilizer.

Since 1994, Indiana has banned yard waste (grass clippings, tree prunings, and leaves) from our landfills because the high moisture in these materials reduces the incinerators’ efficiency. Yard trimmings mixed with kitchen scraps makes excellent compost. And using that compost as a soil amendment to your home garden helps keep the soil loose and well-drained for healthier, faster growing plants. Pair your compost pile with a rain barrel for an even greener backyard setup!

For more information about starting a multi-bin for compost and recycling in your local community, check out these great resources from the schools in Chittenden County, Vermont and the Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council. For our economy and the environment, composting is a win-win!

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