Compost Your Food Scraps
This article is part of a monthly column highlighting sustainability topics relevant to the communities of Fairview Park and Rocky River.
A typical household throws away an estimated 474 pounds of food waste each year, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Perhaps more shocking is that approximately one third of the food produced worldwide never gets eaten and most of that excess ends up in landfills. Food waste is one of the largest segments of the waste stream nationally yet is the least recovered. One solution: Home Composting.
Composting is nature’s method of converting food waste into something usable, namely a valuable, nutrient-rich soil supplement that helps plants grow. The environmental benefits of composting are easily identified and include reducing the waste being sent to landfills.
What are less recognizable are the benefits of composting to individuals. Home composting produces fast-growing, vibrant plants at little cost of time or equipment. It reduces water consumption and the need for store-bought plant growth additives.
You may be wondering how to begin composting at home. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District holds a series of free annual seminars to provide the knowledge and tools on how to start properly composting at home. Improper management of food scraps can cause odors and attract unwanted attention from insects and animals, which are important considerations when living in a neighborhood.
In fact, ensuring that your composting activities are not a nuisance to neighbors is typically required by law. Review your community’s composting laws for clarification.
More information on at-home composting can be found at www.cuyahogaswd.org.
Matthew Hrubey is a member of the Fairview Park Green Team, a volunteer group of residents striving for a more sustainable community.