Everyone knows how important it is to recycle materials such as glass, plastics, and metals for the purpose of eliminating excess trash in the nation's dumps and landfills. In addition to these materials, it's also a good idea to recycle organic materials, such as food waste. Here is a closer look at this important, but less publicized, part of recycling.
How to Do It
Recycling organic materials generally involves composting, which is a method of gathering organic waste into a pile and allowing it to decompose into a rich, soil-like substance. Many people have compost piles in their backyard as a way of helping the environment. Typically, the best way to create a compost pile is to have three parts of yard waste, such as dead leaves, to one part of organic household waste, such as fruit and vegetable scraps. Keep adding organic matter to the pile as you collect more yard waste, food waste and food-soiled paper, such as napkins and pizza boxes.
You have the choice of composting your organic waste in a metal or plastic bin or making your own bin out of boards and wire. Make certain that you place the bin well away from your home, as you don't want to risk having insects attracted to the pile getting into your house.
Some municipalities have organic recycling programs that collect your household organic material and take it to special facilities where it's turned into compost. These facilities are able to compost material that does not break down well in household compost piles, such as meat, bones and dairy scraps.
To participate in a municipal program, you will usually need to collect all of your organic waste in special compostable bags.
Recycling organic waste through composting offers several benefits for the homeowner in addition to reducing the amount of garbage you produce. Compost makes a great mulch for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Keep it at least three inches from the base of your trees and bushes, however, as it might cause problems if it touches the trunk or stems. If you have a vegetable garden on your property, it makes a great soil amendment and provides essential nutrients for your plants. Compost makes an excellent potting soil for indoor house plants as well.
If you recycle your organic waste through a municipal program, the material will end up in a commercial compost product sold in home and garden stores.Share