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Cover State of Composting in US
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2014

Composting Key to Soil Health and Climate Protection, According to Two New Reports

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/composting-key-soil-health-climate-protection-reports/

Washington, DC — Composting reduces waste and builds healthy soil to support local food production and protect against the impacts of extreme weather, from droughts to heavy rainfall. That’s the message of two new reports from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR): State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where & How and Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rebecca Toews

PHONE: 612-808-0689

EMAIL: Rebecca@ilsr.org


Download both reports:

http://ilsr.org/initiatives/composting

Compost is the dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling material produced by the managed decomposition of organic materials such as yard trimmings and food scraps. Compost is valued for its ability to enhance soil structure and quality. It adds organic matter to soil, improves plant growth and water retention, cuts chemical fertilizer use, and stems stormwater run-off and soil erosion. In the U.S., 99 million acres (28% of all cropland) are eroding above soil tolerance rates, meaning the long-term productivity of the soil to support plant growth cannot be maintained.

“Applying a meager half-inch of compost to the 99 million acres of severely eroded cropland would require about 3 billion tons of compost,” says Brenda Platt, the lead author of both reports and director of ILSR’s Composting Makes $en$e Project. “There is not enough compost to meet that need.  No organic scrap should be wasted.”

Compost also protects the climate:  it sequesters carbon in soil and it reduces methane emissions from landfills by cutting the amount of biodegradable materials disposed. (Methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 72 times more potent than CO2 in the short-term.) A growing body of evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of compost to store carbon in soil for a wide range of soil types and land uses.

Yard trimmings composting programs are fairly well developed in the U.S. Of the 4,914 composting operations identified in the U.S. for State of Composting in the U.S., about 71% compost only yard trimmings (based on 44 states reporting). Food scrap recovery is slowly growing. More than 180 US cities and counties are now collecting residential food scraps for composting, up from only a handful a few years ago.

“There is more demand for composting, especially from businesses and institutions that want to source separate food scraps and not throw them in the landfill,” says Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle, which conducted the state-by-state assessment of composting infrastructure and policies, “We not only need more infrastructure to compost these materials, we need more infrastructure to manufacture high quality compost that our soils — and climate — desperately need.” Continue reading

phillycitycouncillogo
Featured Article filed under Composting | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Nov 6, 2014

ILSR Presenting on Food Waste Composting to Philadelphia City Council – Nov. 12th

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/ilsr-presenting-food-waste-composting-philadelphia-city-council-nov-12th/

ILSR’s Brenda Platt will be presenting on the benefits of food waste composting before the The Joint Committees on Streets and Services & The Environment of the Council of the City of Philadelphia on November 12th.   The public hearing will cover the feasibility of and benefits to the City of residential food waste recycling including… Continue reading

BennyAeyitaPile
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Sep 20, 2014

Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Advanced Composter Training Course in DC-MD

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/neighborhoodsoilrebuildersadvancedcomposter/

The Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders training program is a community composter train-the-trainer program with a community service component. This program was developed by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and ECO City Farms and is offered in partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. To apply: To apply for our fall 2014 training in DC-MD (November 1st… Continue reading

Cultivating Community Composting graphic
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Oct 13, 2014

Second National Cultivating Community Composting Forum – October 25th

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/cultivating-community-composting-forum/

ILSR is pleased to announce — along with co-organizers BioCycle and Civic Works — the second national Cultivating Community Composting, a day-long forum (10:00 AM-4:30 PM) on October 25th, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Like the first forum (held in Columbus, Ohio), this event will bring together composters to network, share best practices, and build support… Continue reading

nerecyclingcouncil
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Sep 10, 2014

Webinar September 16, 2014 – Community Composting: Lessons from NYC

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/webinar-september-16-2014-community-composting-lessons-nyc/

ILSR’s Brenda Platt presented at a free webinar, “Community Composting:  Lessons from New York City & Beyond,” on September 16, 2014. Community composting presents a scalable food diversion option that is applicable in virtually any community, whether urban, suburban, or rural. Community compost programs can be established at community (neighborhood, urban, or tribal) gardens, farms,… Continue reading