Returning to the soil
Composting is a natural process where food scraps become fertilizer. You can compost at home. All it requires is an inexpensive covered bin, or place in the yard you can cordon off, and a small commitment of time.
Composting has been called the next frontier in waste, because if you do a good job recycling, most of your remaining waste will probably be food and yard waste. If you looked in the dumpster of a typical office, 50 percent of what you’d see is food waste.
When you start composting, you’re moving up the scale in ‘going green’—you are reclaiming the idea of throwing something ‘away’. The benefit to you for composting is
- A free supply of fertilizer for your houseplants and garden.
- Composting is a great way to keep your weekly garbage down to a minimum. Northeast Ohio's landfills are 40 percent food scraps and yard waste.
- It is a good environmental practice, and an inexpensive way of adding nutrients back into the soil. Applying compost to soil improves its texture, structure, aeration ability and water holding capacity.
- Composting adds up to improved soil fertility and root development. Trees, flowers or vegetables will grow healthier with less chemicals or fertilizers.
- Composting is a big step closer to a zero-waste lifestyle.
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District will do what’s called a waste audit. They’ll look inside your dumpster at work and advise you on how to better manage your waste stream. Call (216) 443-3749 and ask for the Business Resource Specialist.
For tips on composting at home, check out their Backyard Composting guide
Condo and apartment residents without a yard can set up vermicomposting bins. Vermicomposting requires a mail-order of worms and a water-proof container. Here's a good guide to setting up a vermicomposting bin at home.
Eco-friendly landscapes >
We look inside two local guides to native landscaping and their benefits.
Your location can cost or save >
See if your neighborhood is costing or saving you more than the average
Ten water saving tips >
We're at the shore of Lake Erie, but we still have good reasons to conserve