Composting

Did you know that 1 ton of compost avoids 0.05 metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions?

To address this issue, the Food and Nutrition Services Department began a comprehensive composting program. Six days a week, Action Carting now removes food waste and sends it to a composting farm.

How does composting work?
First, food waste is separated and removed from the solid waste stream. By separating out this food waste, we are significantly reducing the volume of waste that we place in landfills. This reduces harmful gases that emit into the environment when food waste is trapped in a landfill and cannot properly decompose.

Once waste is collected, this material is set in wind rows to begin the composting process. After approximately 120 days, all organic material has decomposed and the resulting “compost” (high quality top soil) is ready for distribution and sale. This compost can be used as a soil conditioner that improves soil structure by lowering pH, reducing erosion, and improving the soil’s ability to retain nutrients. Most of the compost is bought by local organic farmers and landscapers; thus, our waste is redistributed back into our environment.

The material is then transported to our site where it undergoes decomposition ultimately resulting in a high-grade top soil.

What are the benefits of composting?
Composting helps reduce pollution and offers economic benefits. By composting organic materials, we not only reduce the amount of waste in landfills, but we also prevent the production of harmful gases and pollutants. Composting also enriches the quality of the soil and reduces the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides.