Composting Reduces Methane

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Dirt Works

Composting is a way of life at Pringle Creek Community.  In Painters Hall Cafe, all organic waste generated through preparing and consuming meals is set aside in compost containers and turned into soil through our ‘Dirt Works’ worm bin composting program in our glasshouses.  Eventually our compost goes into our garden beds, nourishing our soil, feeding our plants – and us!  Our community residents also contribute to our collective composting.

It was gratifying to see a January 29, 2015 Statesman Journal article discussing how composting food waste also decreases methane released into our atmosphere.  Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, with a comparative impact on climate change 20 times greater than that of CO2 in a 100-year period (EPA.gov).

How does composting help decrease methane?

When food waste is thrown into the trash, that trash goes to the landfill and the food waste decomposes.  When it decomposes as it is trapped in a landfill, its rotting produces methane.

When food waste is instead set-aside and composted it does release a small amount of CO2, but that is minuscule in comparison, and its use as compost improves soil health by returning nutrients to the earth,  increasing drought resistance and reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides (Statesman Journal, Jan. 29, 2015).

Another benefit is that your garbage bill decreases substantially AND your garbage no longer smells (especially if you rinse containers before putting them in the garbage)!

In Marion County, one-fifth of what is tossed into the trash is food waste.  This is unnecessary.  Simply set aside your kitchen waste and start a composting system.  Marion County Environmental Services is happy to help!  Call 503-585-4956 for more information about composting at Marion Co. Environmental Services