National Learn About Compost Day – The Power of Compost May 23, 2021 Email What is Compost? Compost is organic matter such as plant debris (e.g. leaves, twigs and yard waste) and food scraps (e.g. fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and even food-soiled paper products) that is transformed into rich, nutrient-filled soil that can be used to aid in the growth of new plants and crops. How Does Composting Work? You can think of composting as the controlled decomposition of organic matter. Decomposition is accomplished by combining organic waste with soil (which has microorganisms like bacteria and fungi), air and water. The microorganisms in the soil help break down the organic matter, and this process is accelerated by air as the compost pile is turned or aerated. The finished product is a soil amendment that can be used as a natural fertilizer, improving soil structure, and reducing soil erosion, leading to a healthier, more nutritious soil overall. It’s no wonder compost is also known as “black gold!” Why Compost? When organic matter is thrown in the trash bin, it gets sent to and buried in the landfill, where it lacks the oxygen necessary to properly decompose. This results in the emission of potent greenhouse gases and can also lead to the leaching of chemicals into our water sources. However, when we compost, not only do we contribute to a healthier air and water quality for all, but we also convert that organic waste into a valuable, nutrient-filled soil. How Do I Compost? You can join the compost movement by discarding your yard waste and food scraps in the green waste cart. You can also learn how to create your own outdoor compost pile or indoor compost bin. There are a ton of resources online for even more information and inspiration, and what better day to start composting than on National Learn About Composting Day!