Humans produce large amounts of waste. In fact, the EPA predicts that the average American produces 1,600 pounds of waste per year. Some of this waste is recyclable, some is not, and much of it is decomposable because it is organic.
Decomposition is a process that involves the break down of chemically and structurally complex organic material into simpler and smaller molecules or even to the elemental stage. This process is crucial to the earths ecosystem, because without it we would simply have tons of dead material piled all over the planet. Furthermore, the products of decomposition are then re-used by organisms, thus completing the circle of life.
If we as humans continually dump all of our organic waste into the trash bin it will go to dumps, were it will sit with other non decomposable waste and will not improve the environment in a positive way. However, if we take our organic waste, things like grass clippings and vegetable scraps from your kitchen, and put in in a compost bin we can allow decomposition to occur and then re-use the nutrient rich product. The resulting nutrient rich compost can be used to fertilize a vegetable patch, spread out on planted beds, or cultivate potted plants.
Composting is a key component of sustainability, and when the FUSE team (Eric Osuna and David Garcia pictured below) had to remove the remaining plant biomass from the FUSE rooftop to prepare for winter….
We decided to build a compost container out of recycled shipping pallets and chicken wire at the Louis Calder Center.