Composting for Our Future


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Composting for Our Future

  1. 1. Composting for Our Future Kelly Matheson August 3, 2009
  2. 2. From 1979 to 1990, the number of landfills dropped by 84%, while there was an 80% increase in the amount of trash created. Today, landfills close at a rate of about 1 per day.
  3. 3. About 40% of the world’s agricultural land is seriously eroded. <ul><li>World’s worst affected areas: </li></ul><ul><li>Central America: 75% of land is infertile </li></ul><ul><li>Africa: 20% of land is infertile </li></ul><ul><li>Asia: 11% of land is infertile </li></ul>
  4. 4. There’s a way to lessen these problems!
  5. 5. Main Topics <ul><li>What is compost? </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill waste can be reduced through composting </li></ul><ul><li>Soil erosion can be mitigated (to make less harsh) through composting </li></ul>
  6. 6. 1. What is compost? Definition: a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil
  7. 9. That’s all for 1. What is compost? Moving on to…
  8. 10. 2. Landfill waste can be reduced through composting Yard trimmings and food residuals make up 24% of the U.S. municipal (household) solid waste. Out of the 1,654 landfills in the U.S. (2005) 397 wouldn’t need to exist if people composted
  9. 11. This is especially important because of NIMBY : Not In My Back Yard
  10. 12. Despite the care taken in design, this can affect our health <ul><li>Toxic gases </li></ul><ul><li>Radioactive waste </li></ul><ul><li>Leachate </li></ul>
  11. 13. Other garbage options Incineration - much cleaner but contributes to global climate change Ocean Dumping - old fashioned way of making garbage “disappear;” it ends up on beaches and ruins ecosystems
  12. 14. If we became more world-conscious by composting (in combination with recycling), we would greatly reduce our need for landfills, incinerators, ocean dumping, and etc.
  13. 15. Moving from 2. Landfill waste can be reduced through composting on to…
  14. 16. 3. Soil erosion can be mitigated through composting Parent Material Clay Soil It takes thousands of years to go from parent material to soil.
  15. 17. We don’t have thousands of years to wait for new soil. The annual soil loss due to soil erosion is estimated at 5000 million tons. Encyclopedia of Soil Science by R. Lal, 2006.
  16. 18. To deal with the loss of fertile soil, organic farmers in the U.S. rely on compost to provide nutrients for their crops rather than use synthetic chemicals.
  17. 19. Yacouba Sawadogo of Burkina Faso introduced a farming technique that allows people to grow crops on dry, harsh lands. This method is called zaï.
  18. 20. Zaï Method -Farmers dig small round holes about 20 inches in diameter -The holes are filled with compost, which holds rain water and retains seeds -Can increase crop yields by 500% -Zaï has helped revive regions once thought lost to desertification in sub-Saharan Africa
  19. 21. Main Topics Review <ul><li>What is compost? </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill waste can be reduced through composting </li></ul><ul><li>Soil erosion can be mitigated through composting </li></ul>
  20. 22. We all live on this earth and all have a responsibility to take care of it. Throw your organic waste into a compost bin to be collected Start a home compost bin and use it in your garden (or give it away on Craigslist) Use biodegradable products