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10 Composting Facts – Statistics and Data in 2022

organic waste

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Composting is an excellent way to recycle all your food scraps and turn them into a usable soil additive for your garden. It cuts on the waste that could otherwise go into a landfill or with the trash.

There are many sides to composting. In this article, we’ll be giving you ten facts and statistics about composting. This way, you’ll learn more about composting benefits and consider adding composting to your list of home duties. Read on!

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Top 10 Composting Facts and Statistics in 2022

  1. The application of compost minimizes loss of soil by 86%.
  2. New businesses in the US can sustain 18 full-time jobs by utilizing 10,000 tons of compost every year.
  3. By 2024, the compost market is anticipated to reach an estimated $9.2 billion. It’ll have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% between 2019 and 2024.
  4. Every year, about 800 tons of compost is purchased by landscapers.
  5.  In the US, only 4.1% of food waste is composted annually. That translates to 2.6 million tons of food.
  6. South Korea composts more than any other country globally.
  7. There are around 185 composting facilities in the US. Most of them are privately owned.
  8. There’s a 65% increase in composting programs worldwide in the last five years.
  9. Every day, the average American generates 4.4 pounds of waste but only about 1.5 pounds is composted.
  10. If eight households in the US composted food scraps, it would offset an average household’s electricity use annually.
OMPOSTING_FACTS_&_STATISTICS
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Benefits of Composting

1. The application of compost minimizes loss of soil by 86%.

(U.S. PIRG)

One of the best ways you can improve the structure of your garden soil is to add organic matter, such as compost. It is one of the easiest ways to supercharge your soil and make it healthier.

Soil that contains 15% organic matter has a crumbly texture. It can hold up better against the elements than soil without organic matter. It also has a higher water-holding capacity. It means less water runs off your land during rainstorms and snowmelt, which means less soil erosion.

Compost also adds essential nutrients needed by plants, as well as retaining moisture and minimizing soil loss.

farmer planting lettuce
Image Credit: Alexander Raths, Shutterstock

2. New businesses in the US can sustain 18 full-time jobs by utilizing 10,000 tons of compost every year.

(BIOCYCLE)

Compost businesses are popping up throughout the country, even in communities without composters. Besides saving landfills, this practice reduces transportation costs because you can process the materials locally.

Compost can be sold to local farmers to use in growing organic produce. Composting will allow businesses to use compost to divert 10,000 tons of carbon while creating jobs and generating revenue.

These composting programs save the city money and help businesses cut down on waste removal services, water, and utility bills.


3. By 2024, the compost market is anticipated to reach an estimated $9.2 billion. It’ll have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% between 2019 and 2024.

(PR NEWSWIRE)

Composting is turning out to be one of the sustainable methods for waste management. The compost market is expected to experience massive growth over the next few years, hitting $9.2 billion by 2024.

It’s due to the industry’s expansion into new markets, rising demand for eco-friendly products, and the growing population. Besides, the rise in the per capita income levels has contributed to the growth of the compost market.

The increasing number of community recycling centers and growing industrial application of compost are other factors that are expected to boost the growth of the compost market in the future.

man holding soil
Image Credit: Piqsels

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The Country with Most Compost and Benefactors of Compost

4. Every year, about 800 tons of compost is purchased by landscapers.

(ILSR)

Compost is a natural fertilizer that contains nutrients that help plants grow. It is made of animal and vegetable waste such as manure, straw, leaves, and food scraps.

You can buy compost from most nurseries or home and garden stores. Landscapers buy more compost than anyone else. It’s because their work revolves around beautifying gardens.

You can use compost in potting mixes for potted plants, as well as in garden beds. It also adds essential nutrients to sandy soil.


5. In the US, only 4.1% of food waste is composted annually. That translates to 2.6 million tons of food.

(EPA)

The majority of waste food in the US is thrown away in landfills. Only a small percentage (4.1%) is composted. That’s a massive problem because landfills these organic material ends up in landfills where it decomposes and releases methane into the atmosphere.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Food waste is not only a huge waste of resources but also a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

food waste compost
Image Credit: Piqsels

6. South Korea composts more than any other country globally.

(WE FORUM)

South Korea is leading the way when it comes to the production and consumption of organic waste. Not only are they the number one producer of organic waste in the world, but they are also a leader in recycling and composting it.

The country produces 13,000 tons of food waste every day. It composts 30% of it. 60% is used to produce animal feed, while 10% generates biofuel. This way, South Korea diverts most of its food waste from landfills and incinerators.


7. There are around 185 composting facilities in the US. Most of them are privately owned.

(BIOCYCLE)

Composting has become a mandatory part of many municipalities’ waste disposal systems in the US. This has led to the development of over 185 composting facilities across most states in the US, and as more people learn about the importance of composting and the process behind it, more facilities are popping up across the country to serve the needs of consumers in the country.

Today, it is a popular practice throughout the US because it uses a valuable resource: yard and garden debris that would otherwise be thrown away.

compost machine
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Compost Produced and Energy Impact

8. There’s a 65% increase in composting programs worldwide in the last five years.

(FRONTIER GROUP)

Composting is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint, especially if you live in an urban environment. That’s why many organizations are coming up with sensitization programs to educate people on this subject.

There’s been a notable increase in the number of composting programs globally. It means that more people realize the importance of composting their organic waste instead of letting it go to waste.

The increased interest in composting is made possible by new technologies that reduce odor and speed up composting time. These innovations have allowed compost to be used as a valuable fertilizer for agriculture.


9. Every day, the average American generates 4.4 pounds of waste but only about 1.5 pounds is composted.

(CNBC)

Composting is not only a great way to reduce your waste stream, but it can also be a healthy addition to your garden.

However, although Americans produce a lot of this waste, only a small part of it is composted. It means that most of this waste ends up in landfills.

Efforts are being put in place to ensure that more waste material is composted to reduce the carbon footprint on the environment.

compost in garden
Image Credit: Piqsels

10. If eight households in the US composted food scraps, it would offset an average household’s electricity use annually.

(WCEE)

Composting is a great way to reduce a household’s impact on the environment and make your own fertilizer. It can also compensate for an average household’s electricity use every year. It is one way that homeowners can be more energy efficient.

Apart from energy compensation, other composting benefits include protecting watersheds and improving soil health by recycling nutrients back into the ground for added nutrients and water retention.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Composting

What are the disadvantages of composting?

One of the drawbacks of composting is the odor emanating from it. It can be unpleasant if not managed well. Good compost smells like fresh earth, while bad compost smells like rotting garbage or urine.

Compost also takes time to break down because it involves a series of processes that break down organic waste into a usable soil amendment called humus. The most basic composting is not a fast process, and this is one of the biggest drawbacks of this process.

You also need to keep the compost away from the house/garden because it can be messy. Sometimes, it’s difficult to contain the waste in a small area. The compost pile will also attract insects and rodents if you don’t take precautions to prevent this.

(GREEN COAST)

compost in mans hand
Image Credit: Pixabay

What are the three types of composting?

Aerobic, anaerobic, and vermicomposting are the three most common types of composting.

Aerobic composting occurs in the presence of oxygen. Compost piles must be turned to allow the oxygen to reach all parts of the compost pile. The decomposition process generates heat which speeds up the composting process. You can use aerobic compost to grow plants in a garden or any other environment where plants grow on the ground.

Anaerobic composting does not provide enough oxygen to break down organic materials. This type of compost is made from manure and is often called “muck” or “rich muck.” It’s often used as topsoil or in garden beds where there are growing plants that need a lot of organic material.

Vermicomposting uses worms to break down organic materials instead of bacteria. Worms are used because they can survive without oxygen.

(DKMM)

What is the most important variable influencing composting?

The most important variable influencing composting is the ratio of carbon to nitrogen. This ratio determines the amount of carbon in the material being composted compared to the nitrogen amount present.

Besides the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, several other variables affect the time it takes for a compost pile to break down. They include moisture content and temperature.

These variables should be just right – not too wet or too dry. Too much water can cause a loss of oxygen and make it more likely for anaerobic conditions to develop in your compost pile.

(COMPOST TURNER)

What’s the value of composting?

Composting is a natural process used for disposing of biodegradable organic materials. Composting also helps microorganisms to grow and aid the decomposition of organic materials.

It involves putting together different organic materials. The biological process of composting begins when microorganisms break down organic material into smaller pieces.

Using this process, you can put your food remains into good use and avoid filling up the landfills unnecessarily.

(UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY)

picking up vegetable from garden
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

How does composting help combat global warming?

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of “greenhouse gases” released into the environment. Emissions from decomposing organic waste can be a cause of global warming. But, if you compost, you will help prevent this from happening.

The composting process releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, but plants absorb this gas as they grow. Composting may be the thing that saves our planet from harmful chemicals and materials that could destroy it.

(COMPOSTING COUNCIL)

How long is the composting procedure?

Composting can take between four and six months for compost material to break down. But it depends on several factors. For instance, there are many ways to compost, and each one is different. Depending on what you are composting, the time it takes to break down the material can vary.

All composting requires a certain amount of oxygen and temperature. The breakdown process will not work without these elements.

Other key factors include the amount of nitrogen and carbon in the compost pile that can vary depending on what you put into it. The more nitrogen there is in your compost, the faster it will break down. Generally, green materials have higher nitrogen content than brown materials such as twigs or dried leaves.

Moisture content also affects how long your compost takes to break down. Dry material takes longer to decompose than wet material.

(KANSAS HEALTHY YARDS)

garden waste
Image Credit: Pixabay

What indicates that compost is ready?

Compost is a great way to improve the condition of your garden soil, but you must know when it is ready to use. It can take a few months for compost to mature and be ready for use.

First, look at the size of the compost. Compost increases in size over time as it matures. You will see that the pile becomes larger and bulkier than when you originally started it.

If the compost has a distinctive earthy smell, it’s ready. You may also notice a mossy or forest floor scent. Compost should not have a bad odor.

The color of compost is another factor to consider. As the compost continues to mature, it will turn darker in color from brown to black. This depends on how much time has passed and other factors such as the amount of green material added to the pile.

It’s also crucial to feel the texture of your compost. When you dig into the pile with a shovel, it should feel dry and crumbly like soil. The texture should not be overly sticky or wet at all. If it feels moist, add more brown material (leaves, shredded paper) to absorb some of that moisture away from the center of your compost pile.

(GREEN ACTION CENTER)

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Why is composting crucial?

Compost is made from various organic materials. They include food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and manure. Once these materials are mixed and allowed to decompose for several months, they’ll be ready for use in your garden or on your plants.

One of the benefits of composting is reduced landfill waste. If you are throwing trash into the landfill each week, you can reduce the amount of garbage you throw away in one year by composting. This reduction can save you money on your garbage bill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the air.

Adding composted matter to soil also improves the health of your plants and flowers by providing vital nutrients as well as water retention abilities. Plants grown in compost grow stronger roots that can reach deeper into the soil for nutrients. The resulting plants are healthier than those grown without added compost.

woman palnting vegetable at the garden
Image Credit: Piqsels

Compost is a free source of fertilizer. You don’t have to buy expensive chemical fertilizers when you can get the exact amount of nutrients your plants need without the risk of over or under-fertilizing.

Composting also saves energy. It’s because when you compost, you don’t need to burn fuel to incinerate garbage in a trash incinerator. You also don’t have to send it off to a landfill somewhere else to be buried underground. It’s more energy-efficient to turn your organic waste into compost and use it around the yard.

•You might also like: HOW TO GET RID OF GARBAGE DISPOSAL SMELLS (5 EASY METHODS)

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Conclusion

Composting gives you the power to influence the environment and your local community. It’s an easy, inexpensive solution for breaking down organic waste and turning it into something useful.

You help reduce landfills, control pests and disease, and beautify the land. Also, it creates a better ecosystem for all life forms to thrive.

But this is still a relatively new concept to most people. Sometimes, you might not understand how much of an impact you can have through composting.

As more people begin composting, the positive effects will radiate out into their communities. These facts and statistics on composting are not only interesting but also compelling. If you want to do your part for the environment, consider composting at home.

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Featured Image Credit: Jerome.Romme, Shutterstock

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