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Turn Food Scraps into Fresh Produce!

posted Apr 8, 2016, 7:27 AM by
What if you could turn a quarter of what you throw in the trash into a rich material that would help your vegetable garden flourish? That may sound like magic, but it’s actually possible if you give composting a try. 

According to the EPA, food scraps and yard waste make up 20-30% of what we throw away. Instead, all this organic material could be turned into compost, which can add nutrients to your garden, help your soil retain moisture, suppress diseases and pests that may harm your plants, and reduce how much fertilizer you have to buy. Composting is also a win for the environment because it cuts back on how much trash ends up in landfills, lowering harmful emissions.

Interested in composting? This article provides a simple overview of how to start a compost pile in your backyard. Don’t have any outdoor space? Even apartment dwellers can compost and this article walks you through how.

Many people are interested in composting as part of a greener lifestyle, but can’t or don’t want to compost at home. This Washington Post article discusses some alternate options in our area. For example, you can collect compost at home and drop it off at the Dupont Circle farmer’s market or at one of four Alexandria City farmer’s markets for a small fee. For a higher fee, several companies will provide you with a bin for collecting compostable material, which they will pick up and empty weekly. Compost Crew and Veteran Compost serve the D.C. metro area, while Compost Cab serves Baltimore. These services will often provide compost for your home garden in return. Some local governments are even beginning to provide curbside collection of compostable food waste at no cost to residents. In our area, Takoma Park provides this service.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to give composting a try. In honor of Earth Day later this month, we hope you’ll start thinking about how you can turn your food waste into something useful!