Archive for June, 2013

What IS composting, and why should we care???IMG_0057

“Composting is a great way to add nutrients to a garden while recycling table scraps and yard waste.”  This is the way a gardener looks at composting.  If you live in an apartment, in the middle of a city, with no garden, and no need for the final product, WHY should you care????

A definition of compost would read:  “Material derived from aerobic decomposition of recycled plant waste, biosolids, fish or other organic material.”  Let’s give that a big “Whoop”!  Again, who cares?

Well, WE should care!

Our planet is being turned into a huge garbage dump.  How is garbage different from compost?  Garbage is a collection of ALL our discards.  It could be left-over food, potato and carrot peelings, rotten salad (and other “goodies”) we’ve neglected to remove from the “fridge, plastic bags and bottles, cans, used paper towels and tissues, old tires, used up batteries, and junk in general.  All of this is collected and put into a huge landfill where it sits forever.  There is no way to use it because it is composed of mixed materials.  Some will NEVER break down, some will break down slowly, and others will break down almost immediately.  But in order to manage this we need to separate them.  Separating them after the fact is impossible.

That is where COMPOSTING comes into play!  And WE CAN BE INVOLVED.

Each of us should have three containers for “discards”:

  • One container would be for things that can be recycled-or used again for other similar products.  Things like glass and plastics come to mind.  Even plastic coated products like cardboard milk containers that would contaminate compost should be headed here.
  • Another container would be for compost.  In an apartment we have to deal with this just a little differently.  It is best to have a small container next to the sink.  You should line it with a “COMPOSTABLE” bag.  If you click that link, you’ll see a huge variety of usable bags.  Some of these can be purchased in the grocery store.  They are usually found where the plastic garbage bags are found.  The ones I’ve seen are labeled “BIOBAG” and are certified compostable.  The container is usually colored green.  (Surprise!)   These bags break down.  They are usually made with corn or vegetable products that decompose right along with your compost.IMG_0408  So, all compostable products can go into those bags, be collected; and when full, put into the “COMPOST BIN” in our Service Rooms here at Horizon House.  You CAN use paper bags because, as I’m sure you know, plain paper will break down and disintegrate!  NEVER use plastic bags (like grocery bags) to dispose compost in.  Use of plastic is counterproductive.  It does NOT break down.  Use of plastic bags may cause our entire Horizon House load to be rejected! 
  • The third container is for what we used to call the “garbage”.  These are things that can not be recycled easily, and are not compostable.

Our compost here at Horizon House goes to a commercial composting facility.  It utilizes what is called “HOT composting” which breaks down any disease, seeds, or oily compounds which would not be appropriate in a backyard compost bin.

Horizon House is trying VERY hard to be as conscious of our environment as possible.  We hope you’ll help in this endeavor.  If you are not able to sort your compostable materials properly, it would be better to just put it in the garbage…  But, as you can see, that is not a good solution at all!!!  Please help!

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