Monday, January 12, 2009

Confluence of Compost

In the last few days, there has been a confluence of compost-related incidences. With so many references to compost, we cannot ignore the topic.

First, a friend reported on how well his composter was working. Since receiving his Christmas gift, he has been loading the composter with leaves from the yard and scraps from the kitchen. He was surprised at how quickly the collection of organic material became an earthy, dark pile of fertilizer!

On the way to work on Friday, we noted that the Oakridge Landfill has begun its expansion. The Post and Courier reported in late December that the expansion was pending. Previously, we have written in this blog regarding landfills reaching their capacity and what we can do to prolong the life of existing landfills. One easy way to reduce the stream of waste (up to 12%) heading to the landfill is to compost the organic (no meat or dairy) items from the kitchen. An efficient composter will smell "earthy," but will not "stink" as the materials are consumed by the worm population before those material can begin to rot.

This month's Audubon magazine has a short piece (p. 54) on composting kitchen waste. Additionally, our appetite for paper and the diminishing northern forest are highlighted.

Finally, we saw a piece on television regarding TerraCycle, Inc.'s "Worm Poop" fertilizer. Not only does TerraCycle, Inc. keep organic materials out of the landfill, they package all of their products in plastic containers that formerly held milk, soda, and water. Scroll over any product and you can see the container's former use. TerraCycle, Inc. also makes a variety of other products from waste. They will even pay you to send your trash to them.
TerraCycle, Inc. shows once again that one man's trash is another man's treasure. However, as our resources and landfill space are not limitless, we all need to think about reducing our individual waste production.

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