You may have heard people say that composting is one of the best things you can do for the planet. You may even have thought that it sounded like something you would like to do. But, you decided that you didn’t have the space for it. Or the desire to have a smelly pile in your backyard attracting pests, when you don’t have the time or inclination to tend it for yourself. You’re not alone.
So many people want to compost their food waste but don’t have the space or garden to do it themselves. That’s just one way in which commercial composting comes in. Read on to find out more…
What is commercial composting?
Composting is the process by which food and other organic waste is broken down. Compost, the material created in the end, is commonly used as a fertilizer. It is full of nutrients that help soil structure and makeup, as well as the growth of plants.
Whether you prefer flowers and all their benefits or want to continue the cycle by growing food, composting is an excellent choice for your garden. It is also an excellent way to get rid of upwards of 30% of your household waste in a sustainable and beneficial way.
Commercial or industrial composting is basically composting on a big scale. Sometimes this includes collecting compostable materials from individual citizens. Instead of you putting your food waste into a bin in your own garden and adding to it over time, your waste is gathered up with everyone else’s.
Other times this means collecting the waste from commercial businesses including restaurants, shops, nurseries and other facilities. The key difference is that the composting occurs on a large scale. It uses a huge amount of organic waste compared to home composting, and creates much more fertilizer which can be used or sold on to farms and those who want it.
Is commercial composting environmentally friendly?
Now that we know what we mean by commercial composting, the question becomes whether or not it is good for the environment. Composting at home is agreed to be one of the best changes you can make to help the planet, recycling your waste instead of throwing it in a landfill. But is commercial composting still environmentally friendly?
Despite the word commercial, and that it is happening at a facility instead of in a compost bin, the process is mostly similar and still a fantastic choice to make. Indeed, commercial composting allows you to scale up the process, turning millions of tons of waste into nutritious compost to help grow new food. Waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Organic matter makes up as much as 40% of the rubbish chucked into landfills each day. That is 40% less space taken up if we compost. 40% less materials that have to be transported at great expense and using huge amounts of fuel. Those kinds of numbers cannot be denied.
Commercial composting also produces fertilizers in the amounts needed for farmers. They in turn can reduce their dependence on chemical fertilizers, saving their fields from turning acidic and recycling at the same time.
Composting improves soil structure and composition, which in turn leads to healthier plants. Commercial composting isn’t only good for the long-term environmental effects of dealing with waste. It also encourages sustainable food production and better soil.
For all these reasons and more, commercial composting is indeed environmentally friendly. It is arguable that creating less food waste in the first place would have a bigger impact on the environment. Composting, however, is the best solution to deal with that waste once we have created it.
Is commercial composting good?
So, is commercial composting good? It certainly has many benefits but also a few downsides that it is important to mention. Have a look at some of the key pros and cons below to help you decide if commercial composting is right for you:
- It helps people compost who don’t have the space – not everyone has a garden, and certainly not a garden big enough to keep their compost bin far away from the house. This allows them to still recycle their waste.
- There are economic benefits for farmers and individuals – buying this compost is better and cheaper than buying chemical fertilizers. It is also better to get rid of your waste this way than through expensive skip trucks or general waste disposal.
- It allows you to scale up composting on a national and international level – by making it easy and economical to break down tons of waste instead of kilograms at a time, commercial composting takes the process to the next level. Garden waste, larger facilities, restaurants, they can all compost their waste easier and quicker than before.
- It improves soil quality – as an individual you can create enough compost to improve your own garden. For farmers and big companies, however, commercial composting allows them to create enough to use proper compost which improves soil structure and quality.
- It reduces landfill waste – as mentioned above, composting can reduce the materials in landfills by upwards of a third. This would make a huge difference and places it firmly in the ‘good’ column.
- It is much less hassle – even for the most laid-back home composters, you still have to create your compost bin, take your rubbish out, turn it and so on. That all takes time. Commercial composters will take away your waste and break it down so you don’t have to.
- You have to buy back your compost when it is made from your own waste
- Your organic waste does have to travel to reach the composting facility adding to its carbon footprint – if you are worried about this you can also invest in a small scale commercial compost machine for your business, which can deal with 10kg of waste per day.
As you can see, commercial composting has far more pros than cons and is indeed a good choice for homes and businesses alike. It is fantastic for the environment, allows you to do your part, and still avoid any odours or pests hanging around your home. If you are looking for one big change to make in your life to benefit the environment, start composting in any way, today.