Top ten excuses not to compost

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Why don’t you compost?

1. Its too smelly
Smelly is when organic waste (food waste, kitchen waste, garden waste etc.) is in a bag with less oxygen (anaerobic) and in too humid conditions. The pile must remain aerated or not compact (aerobic), so the beneficial soil organisms can do their job in composting. In anaerobic conditions, the bacteria release sulfur as they breakdown the material. Sulfur combines with water forming hydrogen sulfide, the smell of rotten eggs. You can correct this by adding brown materials such as dried leaves, straw, or newspaper to absorb the water. Proper composting should smell good-like fresh, vital dirt that’s teeming with life.

2. It will attract rats
We already have rats because we don’t manage our food waste separately and properly. Not if it’s done right, and especially if you use tumblers or in a closed systems. Drop it off at the community compost collection site and you won’t have to deal with that part of things.

3. It’s too much work
No more than taking the trash out or taking out the recycling. Yes it is hard work, but it also hard work to be nice to people everyday. By doing composting you are a real hero to save the earth.

4. Methane will seep into our community and threaten infants, people prone to asthma and seniors
That’s not true. Don’t be ridiculous. Proper composting reduces the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Reducing methane is one of the biggest reasons to compost.

5. I don’t have space
If you have got space for waste you have got space for small scale composting or try the worm composting (vermicomposting). When composting really can’t happen at home or apartment, there are places to take scraps to be composted. Community and municipality composting facilities should support the Zero Waste program and sustainability for a better local environment and to be a locavore.

6. I’m not a farmer, so it’s not for me
Anyone who grows plants needs to be making compost, to improve growth and health of their plants, and to exit diseases and pest problems as well. Most composters aren’t farmers.

7. Isn’t illegal in British Columbia, Canada?
It is legal. What should be illegal is sending organic waste to landfill. Metro Vancouver has been banning on organic materials (including food scraps and compostable organic) in the garbage disposal since January 2015.

8. This should be a city project
Yes, this should indeed be a city project, and it should also be every individual’s project. Just like cities conserve water and help us do the same, we also deploy our own intelligence and values to conserve water. Why don’t give the soil fertility to your city?

9. What’s the difference if it goes in the trash? It still decomposes
Putting compostable wastes in the trash that will end up in a municipal facility for incineration paid by the city has been known for its environmental implications. Incineration is expensive, although it can reduce the volume of the waste up to 96% and produce heat to generate electric power. If it decomposes in landfill, it harms the environment. If it is composted properly, it helps the environment.

10. Who cares?
Everyone on this planet needs to contribute in reducing pollution and nurturing the soil. Instead of sending food wastes and plant debris to landfill, turn this material into your own potting mix, improving plant growth without application of toxic materials, and reduce your costs at the same time. Reduced landfill fees, no need to buy potting mix, no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Your kids care. If you don’t have kids your parents probably cared and your grand parents definitely cared. Apathy is not an excuse.

– Bintoro Gunadi

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