Saturday, December 19, 2009


-- Composting --

Last night we went out to a new restaurant in town and though it was not one of the best meals we had, it was presented well and filled the empty holes in our stomachs just nicely. One thing I found of interest was the waitress, Karen, said that the restaurant's organic waste goes to a pig farm! Very cool.

This piece below was sent to me in an email and I wanted to share it with you today:

Why Composting holds the key to solving four critical problems facing our planet:

1) Global climate change
2) The depletion of soil of key nutrients
3) Unemployment, especially in large cities
4) Energy conservation

1) Global Climate Change. By sequestering carbon in the soil, it reduces the global warming which would be otherwise caused by the carbon dioxide, released rapidly when this material is burned, or the methane that is more slowly released in landfills. Also, in as much as the addition of compost to soil, reduces the need for topsoil, derived from other sources like peat, and from energy intensive synthetic fertilizers, it further reduces global warming impacts.

2) Soil enrichment. It goes without saying that composting on a massive scale will replenish the depleted soils of vital minerals and other nutrients and therefore is of critical importance not only to agriculture but also to human health.

3) Unemployment. Once the organic fraction is removed from domestic waste the remaining material is far easier to store, handle and mine for its reusable objects and recyclable fraction. Once cities have removed organics from their discard stream it is a relatively easy task to use large warehouse type facilities to recover glass, metals, plastics, wood, ceramics etc and create both large and small businesses and a large number of jobs in the process. In Brescia, Italy the city leaders spent over 300 million Euros to build a giant incinerator that only produced 80 full-time jobs. In Nova Scotia (a province of Canada) spent far less money on a curbside collection program for compostables and recyclables, and created 1000 jobs collecting and handling the discarded materials and another 2000 jobs in the industries using those secondary materials for re-manufacture.

4) Energy conservation. By expediting the recovery of more objects and materials for reuse and recycling, far more energy can be conserved (the embedded energy) when these materials and objects go back into commerce. Recycling reduces the energy involved in extraction and shipping primary materials around the globe; reuse of objects reduces both extraction impacts and manufacturing impacts. ICF, a Canadian consulting company, indicates that about 10 times more energy is saved recycling plastics than obtained by burning them to produce electricity and for one particular plastic, PET, 26 times more energy is saved. Overall Jeffrey Morris indicates that 4 times more energy is saved by recycling the total domestic waste stream than obtained by burning it to produce electricity. A report from Europe indicates that a combination of recycling and composting reduces the emissions of global warming gases as much as 46 times more than incineration producing electricity.

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1 comment:

  1. Imagine if we had a process to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere safely, quickly and cost-effectively - while at the same time reversing desertification, boosting biodiversity, enhancing global food security and improving the lives of millions of people in rural and regional areas around our planet?

    We do - it's called changed grazing management and soil carbon.

    Please take a look at the presentations on to learn more.


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