Composting. We all know the benefits of diverting organic waste from the landfill and turning it into a nutrient-rich addition for your garden. I’ve thought about composting at home for years but I get so overwhelmed with the options. Bins, tumblers, worms, you name it — so many different options. Then add in the negatives, like attracting rodents to your house, and I just never started. But I recently learned about some easy composting options in Nashville that I want to share with you.
I attended a seminar held by The Compost Company. They have a composting operation in Ashland City and are the compost experts in the Middle Tennessee area.
Here are some facts they shared about composting:
- 20-45% of waste in landfills is organic and could have been composted.
- Organic waste is the most problematic waste in landfills. It does not break down quickly in a landfill and creates methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas much more potent than CO2.
- All Nashville-area waste that is thrown away ends up in the Middle Point landfill in Murfreesboro. All of Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, and other Middle Tennessee counties filter into this landfill. It only has about 5 more year’s capacity remaining. Once it is full, the next closest landfill is in Camden TN. Waste is expensive to haul!
- 40% of food that is grown is wasted. Food waste happens at every level of the supply chain — on the farm, during distribution, at the store, and in the home.
- Compost is a natural way to nourish the soil. Agricultural pollution, including chemical run-off from fertilizers, is the biggest water polluter in Tennessee. Using compost would cut down on the amount of chemicals needed.
- Anything that was once alive can be composted — paper, grass clippings, food scraps, leaves, etc. — but never plastic, styrofoam, or glass.
So what can we do about it?
- Start a compost bin in your back yard. It is recommended to have 3 bins going at the same time so they can be in different phases — one can be for new scraps, one “cooking”, and one nearly done.
- You can purchase an 80-gallon Earth Machine compost bin for only $50 through Metro Water Services.
- Use one of the FREE Organic Waste Dropoff points at the Davidson County Convenience Centers. Find the one near you: https://www.compostcompany.com/waste-disposal-services/#dropoff
- Hire a company like Compost Nashville who will pick up your organic waste and turn it into compost for you.
Whichever method you choose, I hope that you will help to divert your organic waste from the landfill by composting.