Humans have been composting for thousands of years, and for good reason – it transforms food and yard waste into healthy soil!
Composting is a natural process where bacteria and fungi break down organic material so it can replenish soil and strengthen plant growth. No landfill or incinerator needed!
Why Composting Matters
About a third of the waste we throw away each year is made up of food scraps and yard waste, which ends up in landfills and incinerators. That’s a BIG problem. Burying organic waste, like food, causes it to break down in a way that produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A not-so-fun fact: Landfills rank as the third-largest source of climate-damaging methane emissions in the United States – all because of organic waste.
Composting keeps food scraps and yard waste out of landfills – significantly limiting the need for these polluting facilities in the first place. But the benefits don’t end there! Composting also saves people money, reduces climate-damaging emissions, and puts organic waste to good use.
Just Zero’s Vision
Picture this: Composting is as second nature to you as traditional recycling. At home, you can collect your food scraps and yard waste to compost in your backyard bin, you can pay a small monthly fee to participate in a curbside-compost service, or you can take your scraps to a nearby drop-off center. You have lots of options! Whichever method you choose, none of your household organics ever go to waste. Instead, it’s all converted into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. When you’re out on the town, you simply toss your food scraps into the compost bins lining the streets. Oh, and your favorite restaurants? They partner with compost programs too!
All the materials that these programs collect go to regional composting or anaerobic digestion facilities for processing. Side note: These facilities NEVER mix organics with sewage sludge, or toxic, industrial wastes. Why? Because that’s the right way to compost!
We can make this vision a reality. But for that to happen, we must invest in affordable and accessible collection systems and composting infrastructure. And we need to pass laws and regulations that protect our soil health from false solutions.
We want to make composting the norm, not the exception. That’s why Just Zero helps develop laws and policies necessary to drive composting infrastructure and illustrate how composting programs should be developed to maximize economic and environmental benefits. We also work with elected officials and government agencies to implement composting programs in ways that keep organic materials out of landfills.
Maintaining quality compost systems is critical to achieving all the benefits composting has to offer.