Organic waste is biodegradable refuse of plant or animal origin produced in the home and commercial environments. It consists mainly of food and vegetable waste produced daily in the home or in shops; for example, fruit and vegetable peelings, fish waste and bones, meat scraps and bones and spent coffee.
This type of waste is a large part of the daily waste at home, making up 35% of the rubbish.
According to data from the Spanish Government, an average of 23.6 million kg of food was wasted every week in 2017. Trying to reduce this amount and disposing of waste properly and ecologically is of great importance for the sustainability of the environment.
Composting is one of the most sustainable ways to get rid of organic waste produced at home.
How is composting done?
The process consists of gradually depositing food scraps, kitchen paper with oil stains, vegetable leaves, coffee grounds, infusion sachets, egg shells, fruit, vegetables, yoghurt scraps and any organic residue in a suitable container. Although meat and fish can also be included, this is not recommended due to the offensive odour they produce.
Compost development speeds up if bacterial activity increases. Although some decomposition of organic matter occurs in the absence of oxygen, oxygen is often necessary for microbes to break down organic debris effectively and oxygenation speeds up the decomposition process. The smaller the particles size, the better they are oxygenated; so you should break down organic waste into smaller pieces.
Also, stirring and moistening the waste accelerates the decomposition process, with humidity having to be around 50% to maintain microbial activity. Any lower, and water has to be added, but without overdoing it; as excess moisture prevents aeration and slows down the process. Remember, if the compost is in the sun, it will need more moisture than if it is in the shade. Ideally, the debris in the pile should be damp, but not wet.
Finally, fertilisation also increases the speed of the process. Microbial activity requires an amount of nitrogen for its activity, so compost improves significantly if a small amount of nitrogen fertiliser is added.
Advantages of composting at home
Composting not only has sustainable benefits, but also has many other advantages that will encourage you to get rid of waste this way.
By composting, you:
- Collaborate in reducing waste.
- Recycle and reuse a waste that would otherwise require energy to treat.
- Obtain an ideal natural fertiliser for any type of plant.
- Save money on buying fertiliser.