Every year, we contribute several millions of tons of trash to landfills, where it releases dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to the increasingly alarming climate crisis. A large percentage of this trash is green waste - compostable food and yard waste. Green waste is a waste that comes from both domestic and industrial kitchens. Vegetable peels make up a large part of green waste, as do cuttings, twigs, grass, and leaves from gardens and parks. When green waste is dumped in landfills, it produces methane and other odorous gases. These are especially dangerous to the earth’s atmosphere and have a 25 times more potent effect than carbon dioxide. By recycling green wastes and using them productively, we can prevent green wastes from reaching landfills – thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sadly, only a fraction of green waste is used productively. That is a problem. Another problem is that many people don’t understand how to make use of food scraps – how easy it is to turn trash into something productive. Here are three tips for using green waste productively.
Composting is the name given to the process of recycling organic matter. Green waste is a source of biomass that can be composted. Composting breaks down biodegradable products safely, without releasing any methane. Kitchen scraps, food waste, and yard waste can safely be converted into nutrient-rich fertiliser.
The process of composting combines microorganisms with air and water that breaks down the waste quickly and effectively. The end product of composting is useful and reduces the requirement of synthetic fertilizers. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
How to compost your green waste at home
You don’t need a large area of land to compost green waste at home. All you need for composting outdoors is a composting bin that can sit in your kitchen and a place outside for a compost pile. Composting is also possible indoors. Vermicomposting is a type of composting that uses worms to eat your waste and convert it into compost in a small bin.
Compost consists of organic material that falls into two categories – browns and greens. Brown organic material includes twigs, branches, and dead leaves, while greens include vegetable wastes, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and fruit scraps. Compost piles must contain equal amounts of browns and greens, and these should be layered alternatively. The brown material provides the required carbon, while the green material includes nitrogen.
Avoid composting meat and dairy as these tend to attract pests and cause odours. If you want to compost these, ensure you follow a process that allows you to do so successfully.
2. Use green waste to grow better crops
Unlike plastic and rubber wastes, green waste materials do not cause any danger to humans or the environment. Green waste contains a lot of organic content that is very good for the soil. When biomass is composted, it produces organic fertiliser and topsoil that replenishes areas that might have been eroded and reloads soil nutrients that provide nutrition for new growth. They can be processed and used in agricultural land fields for proper crop yielding.
Instead of merely throwing green wastes in open fields, hand over your green wastes properly to a rubbish clearance company. Licensed rubbish clearance companies like Rubbish Cleared in the UK ensures that green wastes are processed so they can be converted into organic composts. Once it has been done, Rubbish Cleared takes it upon themselves to make sure the compost is used in the agricultural fields.
A family of four can reduce their waste from 1000 kilograms a year to less than 100 kilograms a year by merely segregating, recycling, and composting their waste.
3. Reuse yard waste
Reusing is a lot easier than recycling, and is less time-consuming. Make mowing the lawn a more straightforward process. Instead of bagging up dried leaves and grass, simply leave them on the lawn. They will decompose here and return rich nutrients into the soil. Just ensure to avoid cutting grass less than one inch.
Reuse dried leaves and shredded wood waste by using them to make mulch—spread mulch in thin layers plant bases. Apply mulch between four inches and six inches deep, and keep it at least six inches away from the tree trunks. That will prevent weeds from growing while at the same time helping the earth retain water. Mulch also adds back nutrients into the soil and regulates the soil temperature. Chipped material must be stockpiled for at least two months and allowed to weather during this time before it is used as mulch material.
If you want to dispose of woody material like branches, one option is to rent a wood chipper. Wood chips are durable and make excellent material for covering walkways and pathways. They can be used on landscape beds. You will need to apply fertiliser periodically to prevent any nitrogen deficiency.
If you have lost a large tree on your property, you can use some of the wood as firewood after allowing it to dry. It can also be used in outdoor barbeque bits, and wood-burning stoves – if permitted.
If you are planning on or trying to establish a natural habitat area in your garden, you can consider placing segments of logs and limbs in that area. These serve as ‘nursing logs,’ allowing young seedlings to grow in the soft organic matter.
Finally, it is important to remember that while green waste is the most common garden and home rubbish, it is not the only waste that comes out of your garden and home. Home rubbish and garden rubbish consists of concrete, plastic, glass, metals, and several other materials that need to be cleared away regularly. When you need a thorough rubbish clearing job done for your garden or home, your best bet is to hire a licenced and reliable rubbish cleaning company like Rubbish Cleared. This company, located in South East London, can ensure proper collection, segregation and recycling of your wastes. The company provides reliable, efficient, and economical services.