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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://www.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://www.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

Cover of Growing Local Fertility
Featured Article filed under Composting | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2014

Size Matters! New Report Shows The Value of Small-Scale, Community-Based Composting

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

Composting can take place at many levels – backyard, block, neighborhood, schoolyard, community, on-farm, and regional – and in urban, suburban, and rural areas.  Composting at the local level circulates dollars in the community, promotes social inclusion and empowerment, greens neighborhoods, builds healthy soils, supports local food production and food security, embeds a culture of… Continue reading

10-17-12 Brenda at the podium
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jun 18, 2014

ILSR’s Brenda Platt Delivers Keynote for US Zero Waste Business Conference 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ilsrs-brenda-platt-delivers-keynote-waste-business-conference-2014/

ILSR co-Director, Brenda Platt attended this year’s USZBC conference, hosted in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of May. Elemental Impact’s online magazine highlighted Platt’s keynote presentation in their blog: For the 2014 USZWBC Conference - Creating Value Through Zero Waste, the superb program topics substantiated the zero waste industry’s continued evolution. Hosted in Atlanta, GA – a city entrenched… Continue reading

Cover State of Composting in US -small
Featured Article filed under Composting | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2014

State of Composting in the U.S.: What, Why, Where & How

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

Composting is a proven approach to reduce waste and build soil health and fertility. Amending soil with compost improves its quality and structure and thus its ability to withstand the impacts of extreme weather, from severe droughts to heavy rainfall. When added to soil, compost enhances water retention, controls erosion, and stems sedimentation and stormwater… Continue reading

MRN-wide
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jun 17, 2014

Brenda Platt Presenting At Maryland Recycling Network – June 19, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/brenda-platt-presenting-maryland-recycling-network-june-1-2014/

ILSR co-Director, Brenda Platt, is speaking on a zero waste panel on June 19, 2014, at the Maryland Recycling Network’s annual conference.   Her presentation, “The State of Composting in the U.S.,” will highlight cutting edge composting programs around the country.  Management and reduction of organics in our waste streams is a hot topic for many… Continue reading