Compost from the 1950s

I read somewhere that researchers had found organic matter (kitchen scraps) in landfills from the 1950s.  They know the food waste was from the 1950 based on other items in the surrounding trash.  Organic matter such as vegetable scraps normally would decompose in 60 years. However, in order to decompose, it needs access to oxygen.  Being buried in 60 years of waste doesn’t really let the oxygen in.

I have been composting our kitchen waste for my garden since I even had the idea to start a garden (it was in the winter when there wasn’t much else I could do).  But after reading about 1950s carrot tops and onion skins, I realize that composting does more than good, it prevents bad also.  I had thought that if I threw away organic material it would just decompose in the landfill and it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But apparently its just as bad as throwing away plastic because it won’t actually decompose.

With this new knowledge, I have been saving compostable material when we are out and bringing it back to our compost pile.  I am also guilty of tossing compostables into the woods when I’m out.  Apple cores and banana peels go out my car window if I’m driving somewhere by uninhabited woods.

I encourage everyone to compost, even if you don’t garden.  If you have the space/yard you can just throw it all in a pile, no fancy equipment needed.  You can also buy under the sink composters in you live in the city or in an apartment.  Look into worm composting for small spaces and if you know anyone who gardens ask them if they want it.  If not, just find a place to return it to nature.  What a great and easy way to cut down on your waste production.

Don’t forget to read HERE for my quick list of surprising compostable items.

A Quick List of Compostable Items

  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • coffee grounds
  • tea bags (tear out any metal staples)
  • egg shells
  • dryer lint
  • hair clippings
  • toenail and animal claw clippings
  • newspaper
  • junk mail
  • used tissues
  • fabric made from cotton, wool, or other natural fibers (unless you can make something out of it!)
  • cardboard (tear into pieces)
  • grass clippings
  • pruned branches, weeds, and other gardening plant waste
  • fall leaves
  • unpopped popcorn kernels
  • poop from any animal that is a herbivore (chickens, rabbits, cows)
  • ash from wood fires
  • sawdust
  • wilted floral arrangements (be careful with lilies)
  • q-tips with cardboard sticks (NOT plastic)
  • moldy or stale bread
  • leather
  • pencil shavings
  • fish bones

Basically anything made from all plant material with no dairy or meat in it.