Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills while also creating fertile soil for gardening. When food scraps go to landfills, they take up space and release methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. To reduce your impact, you can use your food waste for compost!
Composting can be done both indoors and outdoors. Composting outside is more ideal, however if you don’t have a yard or garden, composting indoors is just as effective. To compost outdoors, you first need to designate a spot for your compost. You should designate a container or structured pile to place your compost in. The key to successful composting is adding varying materials. Good compost has layers of soil, dry materials such as leaves and sticks, food scraps, and other biodegradable materials such as cardboard or coffee filters. Layering the materials increases the rate at which the compost will break down.
If you are composting indoors, you will need to designate a closed container for your food scraps. You can either mix your food scraps with other compostable materials indoors or simply use a container solely for food scraps indoors. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space where you can use your compost, there are programs that will pick up food scraps and use them for compost in urban gardens and farms.
In Rochester, Community Composting is a great resource for composting. When you sign up for the program, you receive a bucket to put your food scraps and other biodegradable materials in. Each week you can fill your bin with compostable material and one day a week, Community Composting will come by your house and pick up the bucket. You can sign up for a weekly service or a biweekly service. In the Spring season, Community Composting will deliver you finished compost for gardening.
Even if you don’t have a large yard or garden, the smallest amount of food waste averted from landfills makes a difference!
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017
Photo by mathiasbaert Indoor composting and gardening – My experiment in indoor composting and gardening. I just removed the previous crop and sowed a new one.