The Ins and Outs of Recycling Organic Materials

Recycling is not just applicable to aluminum cans, glass, or plastic. Your organic waste can also be recycled. Why is this important, and how does it benefit you?

Well, the first thing to know is that organic materials currently take up a large chunk of space in many landfills. That means landfills are filling up faster and faster, and more land is being used up for trash disposal. Additionally, organic materials release methane which is a not-so-good greenhouse gas.

Therefore, organics recycling through composting is important because it:

  • Produces high-quality compost that can be used to enrich the soil, so that it retains moisture and has more nutrients.
  • Supports gardening and farming initiatives by improving crop yield, helping plants to grow healthy, and boosting the production of soil organisms that improve soil quality.
  • Reduces excessive reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • Lowers your carbon footprint since it reduces the methane emissions that would otherwise be produced if the organic material had gone to a landfill.

With these and more benefits, recycling organics for compost is something all American households should participate in to avoid being part of the problem. After all, everyone is guilty of throwing away edible food regularly.

What sort of organic materials can you recycle?

Typically, you can recycle food and green waste such as:

  • Old mulch
  • Dirt
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Hay and straw
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Fruits and vegetable
  • Eggshells
  • Nutshells

What not to compost

Materials that are not suitable for organics recycling include:

  • Garbage and food scraps – these cause odor problems and attract pests and rodents.
  • Concrete, plastic, and metal – these are not classified as organic waste.
  • Treated timber – the chemical pesticide might kill beneficial soil organisms.

If you’re dropping off your organics at your local composting facility, be sure to note which materials are acceptable for dumping.

Using a registered composting facility

You can separate your organic waste from other types of waste produced in your home or at your business premises. Your local recycling authority will then collect it at your curb and transport it to a centralized recycling facility.

Some composting facilities require that you pay a dump fee if you want to deliver and offload the organic waste at their site.

Home composting

You can create a compost pile in your backyard or indoors. If it’s outdoors, it’s recommended that you start the compost on bare earth to allow beneficial organisms to be part of the mix. You must add twigs or straw first to facilitate good drainage.

Then comes the layering process where you alternate between moist and dry materials. Remember to cover your compost pile with a tarp to prevent moisture loss. A well-kept compost should be free of odors and must not attract rodents or pests. It may take several weeks or months until your compost is ready for use.

The bottom line

Recycling organic materials is a simple and cheap way of giving back to the environment. It also creates an essential landscaping ingredient that can enrich your soil or lawn.

Overall, the benefits of organics recycling are clear and it’s not surprising that it’s increasingly becoming popular. You too can start recycling your organic waste now that you know how it works.