Organics recycling is an important and growing industry. On the economic side, the composting industry is growing: the industry had a value of opens in a new windowmore than 6 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to exceed 8 billion dollars by 2026. In 2020, producers in the United States generated an estimated opens in a new window5.1 million tons of compost, with the majority of that compost being used for landscaping projects. As organic farming becomes more and more popular, that number is expected to rise. Increasing volume of food scraps being composted is a opens in a new windowbig win for sustainability—organic waste that is composted produces a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions that organic waste produces in a landfill and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. At the same time, it is critical that composting efforts prioritize local communities. Even if food waste is composted, the emissions from hauling that compost over long distances via truck could outweigh the emissions savings from the compost itself. If your situation allows, composting at home is a fantastic way to maximize your impact. Read on to see the different ways employees at CET compost in their homes!
Emily G. – Backyard Composting
“I’ve been composting for well over a decade, starting in an apartment and then in my gardens since then. In addition to the environmental benefits, I love that my trash is less heavy, smelly, and messy. Since I use my local transfer station, I also get a small financial incentive as I need to pay for the bags I use at the facility (less material thrown away means fewer bags). The transfer station also has commercial scale compost for when I’ve exhausted what my garden can handle. I know it can feel intimidating to start composting, but once you discover the ease and value you’ll wish you had started sooner.”
Autumn D. – Vermicomposting
“I was inspired to begin composting because of the Ecofellowship. I have heard of it before but did not realize how low maintenance it really was. I don’t have much of a yard to make a compost pile outdoors, so I opted to vermicompost, which utilizes Red Wiggler worms to break down the waste. This is a great option for indoor composting. There are ways to make your own worm bin out of materials you may already have. I was unsure of what I was doing, so I decided to buy my materials & worms from Home Depot. The bin is kept in my garage, and I feed my worms once or twice a week. This whole process has been a great learning experience for me. It has made me take a more critical look at how much is going to waste in my house and encouraged me to reassess my shopping habits and be more mindful.”
Kat B. – Compost Pick-up Service
“Living in an apartment in urban Brookline, Massachusetts, I decided to use a residential composting service to reduce my household food waste. Over the summer, I was able to get a free, 4-gallon bin and set of compostable liners thanks to a partnership between my town and Black Earth Compost. Throughout the week, I place my food scraps in the bin and seal the lid. Every other week, I place the bin out on the curb in front of my building, and Black Earth swings by my street to collect the scraps. I pay $8.99 a month for this service and donate the compost that my scraps produce to a local nonprofit called Backyard Growers. I love how Black Earth calculates my environmental impact. According to their website, in just two months of composting, I’ve already offset the carbon equivalent of nearly twelve miles of driving. Nowadays, I make more of an effort to shop in a way that minimizes waste. I am very privileged to have this food scrap collection service available where I live and to be able to afford it. For me, composting has been a great decision, and I recommend other renters in apartments to consider starting themselves.”
To start your own compost bin, check out our Tips for Composting at Home blog post.
To learn more about vermicomposting, click here!