Back to top Jump to featured resources
Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth

Infographic: Compost Impacts More Than You Think

| Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on May 6, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/compost-impacts/
compost corner

From healthy soils, to good local jobs, we bet you didn’t know that compost can have such an impact on your daily life! So think twice before you throw away your compostable food scraps… because one person’s trash is another’s black gold. Please help us spread the word!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL WEB-OPTIMIZED GRAPHIC

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL 18×23 POSTERS

Compost Infographic_FULL

We want you to be able to share these infographics under creative commons license, free of cost.

If you’re publishing on your website, or in one of your publications, please include this sentence:
“The following comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org), a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen local economies, and redirect waste into local recycling, composting, and reuse industries. It is reprinted here with permission.” 

Please, make sure to let people know they should link to: https://ilsr.org/compost-impacts/ to download the original content for their own publications. They also should include the above attribution language.

Help us continue to produce content like this. Please consider making a donation today:

Image: Donate Button

 

Thank you for your overwhelming support of our International Compost Awareness Week (#ICAW) infographic! We have received so many thank you’s and requests for full resolution versions, so keep them coming!

Below are the web-optimized versions of all of the graphics we created.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “COMPOST IMPACTS MORE THAN YOU THINK”

ILSR Compost Day 1 Impacts

Composting is the aerobic decomposition of organic materials by microorganisms. It transforms raw materials—such as leaves, grass clippings, garden trimmings, food scraps, animal manure, and agricultural residues—into compost, a valuable earthy-smelling soil conditioner, teeming with life.

 


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “COMPOSTING ENHANCES SOIL AND PROTECTS WATERSHEDS”

ILSR Compost Day 2 Soil

It’s all about the soil! Compost enhances soil fertility and health. It’s a living soil amendment teeming with millions of beneficial micro-organisms. Compost helps prevent soil erosion and increases the ability of soil to hold water.  Facing droughts or storms? Support composting and compost use!

 


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “COMPOSTING PROTECTS THE CLIMATE”

ILSR Compost Day 3 Climate

Food scraps in landfills generate methane, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 84x more potent than CO2 in the short term. But when converted into compost and applied to the land, compost sequesters carbon.

 


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “COMPOSTING CREATES JOBS”

ILSR Compost Day 4 Jobs

On a per-ton basis, making compost alone, employs 2x more workers than landfills and 4x more than incinerators. Using compost in green infrastructure (such as raingardens, bioswales, compost blankets, and vegetated walls) creates even more jobs: 5x more workers than landfills and 10x more workers than incinerators!

  • 1,400 new full-time jobs could potentially be supported for each 1 million tons of yard trim and food scraps converted into compost used in green infrastructure. The potential job creation would increase if a diverse composting infrastructure was developed, that included many small- and medium-sized operations.
  • On a per-dollar-capital investment basis, composting operations look even more impressive. For every $10 million invested, composting facilities can support, for instance,17x more jobs than incinerators.
  • Furthermore, composting and compost use represent place-based industries that cannot be outsourced abroad.

It’s time to establish a new made-in-America business sector based on composting!


What Can You Do?

Action is needed to grow composting. Composting can be small scale, large scale and everything in between. Promote a diverse and distributed infrastructure, from backyards and school gardens to farms, commercial and municipal sites. You can help. Start composting and demand better policies.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “WHAT CAN YOU DO?”

ILSR Compost Day 5 Policy

 


We want you to be able to share these infographics under creative commons license, free of cost. But please, make sure to let people know they should link to: https://ilsr.org/compost-impacts/ to see the original content.

If you’re publishing on your website, or in one of your publications, please include this sentence:
“The following comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org), a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen local economies, and redirect waste into local recycling, composting, and reuse industries. It is reprinted here with permission.” 

Want more resources? See below for a full list of reports the help you dig even deeper.


Resources/More Information

Compost: Impacts More Than You Think

Brenda Platt, Nora Goldstein, Craig Coker, and Sally Brown, The State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where, & How, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), June 2015.

US EPA, Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013, June 2015, pp. 12, 46.

Brenda Platt, Eric Lombardi, and David Ciplet, Stop Trashing the Climate, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), 2008.

Brenda Platt, Bobby Bell, and Cameron Harsh, Pay Dirt: Composting in Maryland to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs & Protect the Bay, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), May 2013.

Mike Ewall, Trash Incineration Factsheet, Energy Justice Network web page, http://www.energyjustice.net, accessed April 2016.

 

Composting Enhances Soil and Protects Watersheds

Bobby Bell and Brenda Platt, Building Healthy Soils with Compost to Protect Watersheds, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), June 2014.

Brenda Platt, Nora Goldstein, Craig Coker, and Sally Brown, The State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where, & How, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), June 2015.

“Why Build Healthy Soil?” Washington Organic Recycling Council (WORC) Soils for Salmon Project, accessed April 2016.

United States Composting Council (USCC), “Specify and Use COMPOST for LEED & Sustainable Sites Projects: A Natural Connection”

“Soil Health Key Points,” Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, February 2013.

“Increasing Soil Organic Matter with Compost,” Compost: The Sustainable Solution, US Composting Council, July 2014.

“Strive for 5%,” US Composting Council’s campaign to promote 5% organic matter in soils, US Composting Council.

Composting Protects the Climate

Gunnar Myhre, Drew Shindell, et. al, Anthropogenic & Natural Radiative Forcing, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to Fifth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 714.

Can Land Management Enhance Soil Carbon Sequestration?” Marin Carbon Project web site, accessed April 2016.

Rebecca Ryals and Whendee L. Silver, “Effects of organic matter amendments on net primary productivity and greenhouse gas emissions in annual grasslands,” Ecological Applications (Ecological Society of America), 1 January 2013, 23:46-59. doi:10.1890/12-0620.1

Brenda Platt, Nora Goldstein, Craig Coker, and Sally Brown, The State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where, & How, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), June 2015.

Brenda Platt, Eric Lombardi, and David Ciplet, Stop Trashing the Climate, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), 2008.

 

Composting Creates Jobs

Brenda Platt, Bobby Bell, and Cameron Harsh, Pay Dirt: Composting in Maryland to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs & Protect the Bay, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), May 2013.

Brenda Platt, Nora Goldstein, Craig Coker, and Sally Brown, The State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where, & How, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), June 2015.

Brenda Platt and Neil Seldman, Wasting and Recycling in the United States 2000, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), 2000.