The Effects of Composting on the Environment

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Every year, over 34 million tons of food waste is generated, but only about 3% makes it to incinerators and compost bins (Reducing Food Waste For Businesses). Reducing waste in landfills by composting can have my benefits to humans and the environment, including healthier soil, cleaner air, and money well spent on better resources. Composting, also known as nature’s natural way of recycling, is breaking down different food waste products biologically into a useful substance that can be used in gardens to make soil more rich and healthy (Composting Benefits). There are numerous benefits of composting food waste instead of carting it away to a landfill.

First, composting has many benefits for the environment. When food is disposed of in landfills, it is decomposed without the use of oxygen by anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria create methane. If more food waste is composted, then less methane is released to contribute to the global warming effect. Methane gas is 21 times more potential to make an effect in the environment than carbon dioxide (Obear). Composting also decreases the need for fertilizers and pesticides on crops. Unlike fertilizers, compost releases nitrogen very slowly, which means there will be a minimal negative impact on ground water and other surface water supplies (Benefits of Using Compost). The composted food is very rich in nutrients from the broken down food and can be used to make crops more healthy (Composting Benefits). Food waste can get very unsanitary if it is in dumpsters and landfills. Animals can get into it and cause problems. If waste is placed in a closed off container for composting, then it becomes much more sanitary and it is out of the way of animals (Rogers).

Another major benefit of composting food waste is that it saves a lot of space in landfills. Over 72% of all waste produced in a year can be composted (Risse). The more food that is placed in the landfill, the faster it fills up. This causes economic and...
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