Returning Nutrients to the soil
This makes some sense right and is what most people think about as a benefit of Composting, plants need nutrients to grow and they take it out of the soil. Then when when the plant or part of the plant is removed we remove the nutrient from the soil. By allowing these plants or part of these plants to return to the soil we are returning some of those nutrients. (Think the Lion King – Circle of Life)
Increasing Moisture Retention
Less watering, need I say more… Compost adds organic material back into the soil and organic material holds water. Water is then available for your plants, they can last longer without watering. When soil holds water it doesn’t run off the top causing flooding and it stores it for use by the plants during drier periods without a rain
Increasing Soil Life
We all learned about food chains and food webs in school right? Well, there is a vast network of microorganisms at work underneath our feet in the Soil Food Web. The Soil food web is an important part of keeping soil healthy and fertile. Without soil life you have dirt, not soil, and nutrients are not as available to plants, you lose soil tilth and soil health etc… If you want to learn more visit the expert on soil life, Dr. Elaine Ingham at https://www.soilfoodweb.com/
Reducing your waste
In the City of Prince Albert a recent waste characterization study found that 40% of the waste going to the landfill is organic material. That means almost half of what is being thrown out could be composted. In the landfill organic wastes cause many issues, such as leachate (contaminated water that must be treated and contained at the landfill), and the production of methane gas. As the landfill is compacted the organic material breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) and therefore produces methane gas. When we break it down in a compost pile it breaks down aerobically (with oxygen) which does not produce the methane gas. The methane gas is what you smell when you go out to the landfill and has also been recognized as a greenhouse gas. Reducing your waste not only saves the landfill and the environment as a whole but you also don’t have to lug out that big heavy garbage bin to the curb as often. Amen to that.
Carbon stays in the soil not the atmosphere
Adding organic material back to the soil or keeping organic material in the soil keeps carbon in the soil rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. Carbon is great for soil but not so great for our atmosphere. So when your food scraps and yard waste are composted they not only reduce your own waste, and help your own soil it also helps the earth stay cool!