US PIRG Report: "Composting in America: A Path to Eliminate Waste, Revitalize Soil, and Tackle Global Warming"

20 Jun 2019 1:14 PM | Wendell Simonson (Administrator)


The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) describes itself as, "an advocate for the public interest, working to win concrete results on real problems that affect millions of lives, and standing up for the public against powerful interests when they push the other way". 

It should be no surprise, then, that they recently put out an excellent report entitled "Composting in America: A Path to Eliminate Waste, Revitalize Soil and Tackle Global Warming"

Here are some of the highlights and findings from this great report:

"Americans landfilled or incinerated over 50 million tons of compostable waste in 2015."

Composting could reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and incinerators in the U.S. by at least 30 percent."

"One model found that applying compost to 50 percent of California's land used for grazing could sequester the amount of carbon currently emitted by California's homes and businesses."

"In just the last five years, the number of communities offering composting programs has grown by 65 percent."

"Compost can help prevent topsoil erosion by allowing the soil to absorb more water during heavy rainfalls and by fostering robust plant growth. One study found that the application of compost helped reduce soil loss by 86 percent."

"Landfills are the nation's third-largest source of methane emissions, emitting 108 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2017 - more than the total emissions of 34 individual states in 2016. Composting organic material could significantly reduce methane emissions."

Also be sure to check out the US PIRG's recent and excellent blog post on the topic of "What Does Compostable Mean?"

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