The Benefits of Composting
It’s Composting Awareness Week in Canada, and if you’re new to composting, this method of disposing of organic waste comes with a lot of benefits for your yard and the Earth too.
Compost is a rich mix of organic matter such as kitchen waste, plant remains, leaves and grass clippings and animal manure piled together so that it rots down to a fine, crumbly consistency. Compost is a premium soil conditioner, replacing what has been stripped from the soil through cultivation. It provides vital nutrients, while improving soil texture and drainage. Organic matter will turn into a dark-coloured humus and eventually stabilize (or not breakdown further) after a period of time. [Green Calgary]
Your organic waste breaks down, and becomes a valuable gardening resource as compost or mulch. Using compost can improve soil texture and the overall health of your plants and flowers. You’ll also notice after you start composting, how much household garbage you can reduce (an estimated reduction to the landfill from one-third to one-half).
Here are some of the amazing benefits of composting:
- Waste reduction (recycling and reusing organic waste)
- Reduced pressure on landfills
- Saves you money
- Benefits your garden/yard
- Reduces need for fertilizers other garden aides
- Reduced plant diseases
- Reduction of greenhouse gases
- Improved nutrients and soil quality
- FREE to do
The waste that we save from the landfill to composting methods, ultimately saves the City (and taxpayers) money on collecting garbage and collecting and disposing of organic material. However, if you don’t garden, you can still take advantage of the Earth-saving benefits of composting and have the City pick it up for you (depending where you live).
- Airdrie composting/organics: Airdrie has done something innovative, and launched a curbside organics program before implementing a curbside recycling program. Airdrie residents can place organic waste (food, coffee grinds, yard waste, etc.) into their green carts and have it picked up right from their homes. Starting November 1st, bi-weekly organic pick-up service begins again, and a full list of what can and cannot go in your green bins is available here.
- Calgary composting/organics: Calgary’s green cart program is in the pilot phase at this point, but in 2017, green bins will be rolled out to single-family homes across the city. All food and yard waste will be accepted in the green cart for year-round, weekly collection. Information on the coming organics program in Calgary is available here.
If you’re looking for more resources on composting at home, check out the free resources available from Green Calgary online.