Environmental Benefits of Composting – How Does Composting Help?

environmental benefits of composting

Compost is an organic substance decomposed by a process known as composting. The process involves recycling various organic materials (otherwise deemed as waste) to produce soil conditioner.

Is Composting Worth It?

In simple words, yes. Putting organic substances back into the planet’s ecosystem will enrich the soil with essential nutrients that synthetic fertilizers cannot substitute.

Did you know there can also be significant financial benefits to composting as well? We cover this attractive advantage in more detail below.

How Does Composting Help the Environment?

There is a major connection between composting and the environment. A 2019 report from US PIRG asserts that the number of communities that offer composting has grown by 65% in the past five years.

This growth likely stems from the soil-enriching qualities, and off-gassing advantages conferred by compost vs. landfill settings. Explore the positive effects of composting in more detail below.

3 Environmental Benefits of Composting

So, what are the benefits of composting in your community? The following three sections cover some of the most common benefits of converting plant and food waste into compost.

1. Minimizes Landfill Sizes

Composting keeps organic waste out of landfills. Not only does that prevent landfills from prematurely meeting volume capacity, but it also minimizes pollution. Plant and food materials do not decay efficiently when in landfills.

The layers of wastes trapping the plant, and food waste result in an anaerobic environment. Unfortunately, there is a massive disparity between aerobic vs. anaerobic composting.

The airless landfill environment causes decaying waste to produce a high concentration of methane gas during the process. Methane is a greenhouse gas that has 21 times the potency of carbon dioxide.

how does composting help the environment - reduced CH4

Moreover, composting can help minimize landfill volume.

2. Enriches the Soil

Jared Eliot, an eighteenth-century author, wrote “Essays upon Field Husbandry.” In this book, he compared soil to a bank.

He said when a person grows plantation in a field without returning any of the plants’ waste back into the soil – it is exactly like withdrawing cash from the bank without making subsequent deposits. That means, sooner or later, you are going to deplete your deposit with nothing left to withdraw.

Thus, composting plant waste and return into the soil, the fields and gardens allow you to replenish the nutrients into your soil.

Composting helps improve the soil in several ways. It loosens the buildup of heavy soil and helps sandy ground hold and trap water more effectively.

When you mix compost with the soil, it acts like a sponge, holding water in areas that need it the most, especially the roots. This also helps reduce the quantity of irrigation your crops need.

Compost will foster the growth of rare and beneficial microorganisms such as earthworms and insects and add nutrients to the soil. It will also help minimize water and wind erosions both by facilitating healthy root growth and trapping and maintaining moisture levels in the soil.

Overall, composting makes significant contributions to increase the chances of healthy plantation and nourishment of soil for healthy outcomes.

3. Minimizes Chemicals

If you spread composting on croplands, it will minimize the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Compost not only offers basic essential nutrients present in chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also nourishes your cropland with a wide range of trace minerals along with other nutrients absent in synthetic fertilizers.

Minimal use of synthetic fertilizer will reduce associated environmental damages and issues such as water pollution. Nitrogen emissions from chemical fertilizers result in the formation of algae blooms in oceans and lakes, radically altering and damaging the coastal ecosystem.

Financial Benefits of Composting

If you are considering investing in a composting business or a farmer, there are several financial benefits to it as well.

For businesses and organizations, one of the most compelling factors to adopt composting is saving. By compositing, your business can save a substantial amount by cutting back on your landfill fees.

Middlebury College, Vermont reported savings of $100,000 on landfill fees in 2011. They did so by recycling 90 percent of food waste from their college campus to create compost. Cafeteria and restaurant food waste stats are staggering. The college produced 370 tons of food waste composting, translating to an exponential saving of $270 per ton of food waste.

Moreover, composting is also influencing the sports arena across the country.

For instance, O. Co. Coliseum in California (where the Raiders and the Athletics play) managed to reduce $80,000 in waste disposal costs within two years of implementing a comprehensive composting and recycling program.

Moonshot Can Help You Bring Positive Environmental Change

If you are a business in the Houston area looking to adopt composting to recycle your waste, let Moonshot’s Houston Compost Service help you. We offer a variety of service options to suit your budget and your business needs.

Contact our team today to begin starving the landfills with us!