Composting: Frequent Questions
How Do I Compost?
Composting is easy. Common materials like chicken wire, bricks, and buckets are all it takes to begin composting, which can be done either indoors or outdoors. Maintenance is not difficult either: regular mixing or turning and a little water can ensure success. Learn how to create your own compost pile.
Why Not Put Yard Wastes in Landfills?
Since these materials are relatively clean and biodegradable, disposal in landfills may be unnecessary and wastes space. In addition, as yard wastes decompose in landfills, they generate methane gas and acidic leachate. Methane is a colorless, explosive greenhouse gas that is released as bacteria decompose organic materials in landfills. If methane is not controlled at a landfill, it can seep underground and into nearby buildings, where it has the potential to explode. Yard wastes also contribute acidity that can make other waste constituents more mobile and therefore more toxic.
A number of states across the nation have implemented yard waste composting programs. To learn how many composting programs are in your state, visit Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) State Data page.
Why Not Burn Leaves and Other Yard Wastes?
Burning leaves and other yard wastes pollutes the air and can lead to uncontrolled fires. Leaf smoke can make breathing difficult for people who suffer from asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or allergies. A number of states currently ban leaf burning, and some communities either ban leaf burning or restrict when and where it can take place. For more information, visit EPA's Backyard Burning site.
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