• Simcoe-Grey Greens

Week 9: Composting 101

by Sherri Jackson and Laurel Hood

This week, we’re shifting gears back to what we can do in our own homes. We are lucky here in Simcoe County to have composting as an option for our waste disposal. Shockingly, lots of communities in our area don’t have this. So, if you’re one of them, write your council and let them know that you want it added to your municipal services.

It isn’t just about reducing the amount sent to landfills, even though that’s a great reason to compost. Green material (like food waste) that gets sent to landfill doesn’t simply decompose. It beaks down and mixes with toxins from other stuff people throw away, and then turns into a toxic soup, that can leach into the soil, and eventually, into the water supply.

If that isn’t bad enough, When organic material such as food scraps and green waste is put in landfill, it is generally compacted down and covered. This removes the oxygen and causes it to break down in an anaerobic process. Eventually this releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The implications for global warming and climate change are enormous. Methane is also a flammable gas that can become dangerous if allowed to build up in concentration. Composting your food scraps and green waste in a compost bin eliminates many of these problems.

Challenge 9: Learn/review your municipality’s composting rules.

You can find Simcoe County’s here.

Simcoe County has produced a good document about reducing waste, that you can find here.

Composting is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you divert tons of green material from landfills, but you turn garbage into gold: compost enriches the soil, and makes gardens really, really happy. If yours goes to the county’s facility, you can buy a truckload for $25 in the spring, and literally, spread the joy. Your garden will pay you back with a bountiful harvest.

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