Municipal Composting Programs - A Way to Go Green

Composting has occurred since plants first existed on the earth. When leaves and fruit fall from trees, and when plants die, they drop to the ground, enriching the soil through the process of natural decomposition. This is nature's way of composting.

Humans have been composting for decades, maybe even centuries. In our recent history, agricultural communities have used composting as a way to enrich their gardens and farmland. In the last two decades, a much larger movement of composting in urban areas has begun, and in recent years, composting has taken on its own popularity as a new way to "go green." City dwellers are becoming more aware of the benefits of compost in their gardens and flowerbeds, and they are realizing that it is best to recycle natural products back to the earth.

Municipalities have had a major influence in this movement with programs to dispose of recyclable waste. These programs allow, and sometimes require, citizens to collect their organic waste such as leaves, branches, grass, and other yard trimmings for composting. These programs vary in season and structure but they all have the same goal of recycling natural material to the earth's benefit. In many cases, after the material has been composted, the city sells the compost back to citizens who wish to purchase it for their yards or gardens. In this way, city composting programs provide two services: they allow city dwellers to compost their organic waste, and they also make compost material available for sale at reasonable prices.

A municipal composting program may seem simple, but it can be a large project to manage. First, the citizens of the municipality must be educated about what types of products can be collected and how they are to be contained. Some city composting programs only collect yard waste, while others also allow food scraps. Second, the city must decide how they wish to collect the waste. Some municipalities use bulk collection, where leaves and waste are piled in the street or yard and trucks come collect the debris. Another way to collect the waste is through drop off sites where citizens can take their waste to a central collection area. Other communities use container collection, where the waste is put in specific types of containers such as biodegradable brown paper bags or in reusable containers and is collected by trucks.

After trucks have picked up the organic waste, the material must be transported to a central composting site to be processed and composted. Several months later, the waste you threw out will be available again for resale to citizens as premium compost. Compost can be used in many ways. Premium compost is a great way to enrich your soil, control erosion, or simply help your plants grow bigger and stronger!

The US Environmental Protection Agency indicates that 24% of the United States' solid waste is made up of yard trimmings and food scraps. Just think how much waste we could keep out of landfills if more cities began composting programs! With the ability to convert all this waste into premium compost and return it to the earth, these programs are hugely beneficial. If your city doesn't have an organized composting program, contact local officials in your area and prompt them to begin one. This is a way to get involved and give something back to this planet that we inhabit.

Ellen Bell works for Home Products n' More, a company dedicated to providing high quality products for your home, garden, and auto. Home Products n' More offers a great selection of leaf bag holders and eco friendly patio furniture. Check us out at

green energy News

Cool Web Site Listings