Industrial/Commercial Composting vs. Home Composting

commercial composting vs. home composting

On a chemical level, composting food waste is better for the environment than sending it to a landfill. Discarded food that decays in landfills releases a higher percentage of methane than food that is composted in a backyard or commercial composting facility.

Due to the heat-retaining properties of methane, atmospheric warming is accelerated. This is why many people consider incorporating composting in their daily routines.

Today, we’ll talk about commercial composting vs. your traditional backyard composting. It’s a question we get a lot here at Moonshot. The similarities are certainly there. You need a good balance of food scraps and yard waste, along with greens, browns, and oxygen. Right now, we’ll dive into the differences.

Difference Between Industrial Composting vs. Home Composting

If you’re already composting at home, bravo. You know the benefits to your planet, environment, health, and legacy. We applaud your efforts. And we don’t use “efforts” lightly. It’s truly a job to keep your compost pile in good shape.

With a commercial composting facility, things get a bit easier. It makes feeding the earth and starving the landfill more convenient than ever before. No stress, less mess.

What Is Industrial Composting?

commercial composting facility

Industrial composting facilities boast special equipment for breaking down compostables like meat, dairy, and fish scraps. Normally, these aren’t put into a home compost heap because of foul smells and hungry outdoor pests. 

But with commercial composting, all plant- and animal-based items can be composted. A pre-processing phase allows such items to successfully break down with other easily compostable items. At Moonshot, our services for home composting in Houston feed into local industrial/commercial composting facilities because of their efficacy.

How Does a Commercial Composting Facility Work?

Commercial composting operations consist of chippers, grinders, and mixers. These pieces of equipment ensure that all items reach more ideal composting conditions. Organics are screened beforehand, and large items or non-organics are removed. The leftover bits are thus more manageable for the microbes to naturally break everything down further.

These facilities sometimes use “in-vessel” techniques to mechanically turn or mix organic material in a silo of sorts. They can even monitor and control temperature, moisture, and airflow to encourage bacterial activity. The heat involved kills dangerous bacteria as well. Aerated static pile and windrow composting are other common techniques used.

There’s no difference in the soil at your home and at a facility. Commercial soil and backyard soil are the same. Both are rich and capable. In fact, you can compost at home and at an industrial level as you try to live more sustainably. The truth is, commercial-scale composting sites need everyone’s help to make an impact on a large scale.

If you love your compost pile, no need to give it up. But all those meats and dairies you’re having to send to the landfill can find a new home. Back in the earth – where they came from.

What Does “Compostable in Industrial Facilities Mean” for Plastics? 

What does compostable in industrial facilities mean exactly? 

Maybe you’ve already begun purchasing cutlery that’s better for the environment. You’re feeling great about your decision. But is it really better? Read the fine print. A lot of times, it depends on where you throw these products out.

If you read “compostable in industrial facilities,” then your backyard compost heap isn’t going to break down these items. The items also won’t break down in a landfill or in marine conditions. They must be broken down using commercial composting methods. Biodegradable cutlery, bags, and the like would take a decade or more to biodegrade right outside your home.

Tip: Eco-friendly plastic isn’t friendly if you don’t dispose of it properly, using a commercial composting service. 

What Is Home Composting?

home composting vs. industrial composting

Unlike industrial-scale composting, this composting system takes place at your residence. You compost what you can, but you’re limited. The rest gets thrown out and sent to the landfill – the exact monster we’re attempting to starve.

How Does a Home Composting System Work?

There’s no shame in a home compost. In fact, quite the opposite! The result is the same for both home and commercial composting. But it’s difficult and sometimes even impossible to generate ideal conditions in your backyard heap. It takes sustained levels of heat to ensure the breakdown of molecular bonds.

At home, you can’t commit to composting fats, oils, grease, or meats. Fish and dairy? No. Why? Because you can’t generate enough heat in your pile. You don’t have enough carbon and yard waste to absorb moisture and break items down properly.

Attempting to compost fats, oils, grease, or meats in your backyard system also increase the likelihood of attracting unwanted vermin. Pests like rats, skunks, possums, and raccoons are attracted to the smell, and can turn your efforts into a burden for you and your neighbors. Opting to send your food waste to an industrial composting facility is a convenient, hygienic, and environmentally-friendly alternative.

Industrial vs. Backyard Compostable Items 

In your industrial composting bin, you may compost the following:

  • Meats
  • Avocado and mango pits
  • Raw mussel shells
  • Fish bones
  • Chicken bones
  • Dairy products
  • Baked goods
  • Bio-solids
  • Animal manure
  • All food scraps
  • Along with everything in the next list

In your at-home compost pile, you may compost the following, barring wax coatings and heavy grease:

  • Paper towels
  • Paper bags
  • Paper plates
  • Q-tips (with no plastic)
  • Corks
  • Pizza boxes
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Pasta
  • Pizza crusts
  • Stone fruit pits (peaches, cherries, etc.)
  • Nut shells
  • Seafood shells
  • Some food scraps

Tip: The starchy items above, like flour and pasta, can lure unwanted pests. You could always safely dispose of these items in your industrial composting bin. 

Moonshot Composting Can Make It Easy to Go Green 

There’s no denying it: commercial composting vs. home composting pose some significant differences. We think both are great. But the commercial side of things does allow for more convenient opportunities to save this planet we all call home. 

At Moonshot, we offer both residential and commercial composting services. We take all the compostables to an industrial facility where nutrients make their way back to their rightful place in a safe, timely, monitored manner.

See if our home compost service is available in your zip code!