Did you know that food and yard waste isn’t actually garbage? That’s because food leftovers and decaying leaves from the garden provide key ingredients to making nutrient-rich compost – also known as ‘black gold’ for the value it adds to soil as a natural and powerful fertilizer.
One of the key goals of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD)’s new Sort’nGo roadside waste collection service is to limit the amount of overall garbage by increasing diversion opportunities of waste material that contains food and yard waste. This means west coast residents will begin collecting their organic waste in new (green) roadside organics carts this fall – transforming up to 43 per cent of what goes to our landfill into black gold!
The Value of Compost
Composting adds nutrients to soil and fosters the growth of beneficial microorganisms, insects, and earthworms. Compost helps to minimize wind and water erosion by retaining moisture in the soil and encourages healthy root growth. It replenishes exhausted soils by replacing trace minerals and can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, promoting higher yields of agricultural crops or abundant, vibrant flower gardens.
Extending the Life of the Landfill
Landfill space is critical for long-term waste management, and should only be used for materials that can’t be reused or recycled. Food waste contributes up to 43 per cent of garbage sent to the West Coast landfill, which uses up a lot of that finite landfill space. Once residents take part in diverting organics from the landfill with the Sort’nGo collection service, we can extend the facility’s lifespan by decades.
Reducing the Production of Methane Gas
In the landfill, when organic waste lays buried under layers of garbage without access to oxygen, it can’t decompose properly. This results in the creation methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and other harmful environmental issues.
Composting Items Unsuitable for Backyard Compost Systems
Hurray for those that are backyard composting! Please continue to do so as this is ideal. The organics cart will still be handy to dispose of items unsuitable for backyard compost including dairy, grease, bones, and meat. The yard waste component is also helpful for leaves and other yard debris such as grass clippings, small branches and noninvasive weeds (just don’t overstuff or carts will be too heavy to lift!)
Recycling Our Black Gold
Composting literally transforms what would have been thrown in the trash into an incredibly valuable resource. Once we start transforming our food and yard waste into compost, we can recycle it back into our local green spaces and parks – doing better for the environment, our community, and ourselves.
Visit www.letsconnectacrd.ca/sortngo-west-coast for more or download the free Sort’nGo ACRD app and start learning how to live simpler, and sort smarter.