Composting

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Why Compost?[edit]

[1] "Composting systems are increasingly being installed as a waste management alternative to landfills, thus reducing the amount of methane emitted. When organic materials are broken down by bacteria without the presence of oxygen in landfills, it produces not just carbon dioxide, but the much more powerful greenhouse gasses methane and nitrous oxide as well. In a well-maintained composting system, bacteria break down organic materials in the presence of oxygen. The end products are mainly carbon dioxide and water, as well as the rich, useful compost itself. Another benefit is that the compost displaces synthetic chemical fertilizers, which require intensive energy to produce and can have serious impacts on human and environmental health."


What's Compostable?[edit]

Towels, Tissues, and Napkins[edit]

[2]

"Of course, it is best to recycle all paper products that have not been contaminated, but soiled paper towels are perfect for the compost bin because it can be easily broken down and mixed in with other compostable products."

[3]

"yes, you can definitely recycle and compost paper towels – be it white ones, or even recycled, brown paper towels that you sometimes see in an office washroom."

Composting and Global Warming[edit]

...research led by Whendee Silver of Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management concludes that a judicious scattering of finished compost on our rangelands could lock up gigatons of atmospheric carbon..."

http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_materials.htm
1500 kg/m³

http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery/
35 million tonnes 
 = 23 million m³

1 acre-inch
 = 100 m³

covering with 0.5 acre-inch:
 = 460,000 acres
 = 1860 km²

0.5-3.0 tons of carbon per hectare per year
 = 90.7 tonnes per km² per year

 = 168,700 tonnes per year

http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/footprint
The carbon footprint of a typical US household is ~50 tons per year

 = 3700 households' worth of carbon dioxide

There are 115 million households in the US (2012), but it's a start...

Compost Resources[edit]

Page Details[edit]

This page is cross-synchronized between the ATS Wiki page on Composting and the AndHigherStill Wiki page on Composting.