What do you do with your food scraps? Adding your vegetable scraps to the compost heap has a number of benefits. For the environment, it reduces the waste stream going into landfills. For your compost pile, vegetative food scraps are often nutrient-rich and high in organic matter, and a good supplement to the dead leaves and grass clippings that make up most of the material.
The Garden Media trends report that I have cited quite often indicates that composting is on the rise with 25 percent of households now composting. The survey also mentions a national trend toward mandatory city food scrap waste management and that some cities are offering financial incentives to compost and reduce food waste.
Some of the statistics in this survey include the fact that, according to the EPA, Americans generated 35 million tons of food waste, 97 percent of which went into landfills. Only 11.7 percent was composted. Organic matter decomposing in landfills generates 16.2 percent of the nation’s methane gas emissions.
Don’t put meat scraps in the compost heap, just vegetative scraps. No special preparation is needed. All you have to do is dump your food scraps into the bin among the leaves, grass clipping and other yard waste. Continue to keep turning the compost just as you have, or should have, been doing right along. Keep adding and churning and you should have some of the richest, must nutrient-rich compost you’ve ever seen when the gardening season begins.
Closer to the gardening season, I will write about how to apply compost and brew compost tea. Meanwhile, keep on scrapping and turning.