Composting & Landfills: A Paradox:


Our society recycles more and more each year.  This is a great achievement!  But unfortunately, our waste is still increasing due to rising personal consumption and overall population growth.  Thankfully, there are processes a household or a municipality can do such as making compost, but not in landfills.

The Biodegradable Irony

Food and paper decompose by themselves in nature.  They are, however, the two largest components in landfills, accounting for nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste.  There is more food and paper in landfills than diapers, Styrofoam, and tires — combined.  According to the US EPA, food waste is the #1 least recycled material.

Landfills are layered deep and saturated with water. Landfill DO NOT COMPOST, they are tombs to store our waste for centuries.  No oxygen can penetrate.  As a result, even "biodegradable" waste will remain embalmed for centuries to come. Landfills produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide (according to the US EPA), and leach toxic chemicals into our air and drinking water. 

On a more urgent note, we are running out of landfill space—that is, open space reasonably close to population centers.  Stories abound of trash barges with no place to dock, ocean dumping, and trash exported to poorer countries.  Landfill costs are skyrocketing, which means higher fees (or taxes) for everyone.  The organic nutrients present in food and paper waste are removed from the food chain, requiring gardeners and farmers to instead rely on chemical fertilizers to replenish their soil.  National and local governments around the world are enacting regulations to limit trash and increase recycling. 


The NatureMill Solution

NatureMill brings home composting to the mainstream user.  It is essentially a miniature in-vessel kitchen composting system.  NatureMill delivers an answer to the problem of space and labor for both traditional composting. It is a great upgrade from an ordinary compost tumbler or worm compost bin.  Waste is collected right where it is generated—in the kitchen.  A computer controls the temperature, air flow, moisture, and mixing to accelerate the process and eliminate the backbreaking work.  Everything is fully self -contained in a modern, attractive container.  Just a few square feet of floor space is required.  No special plumbing or electrical connections are needed, other than a standard electrical outlet. It operates for about 50 Cents/month and produces finished compost in 10-15 days.  There is no need to handle and transport the rotting material.  Add up to 5 lbs of food, meat or fish to the upper composting chamber; then just empty the finished compost lower chamber about every 2-3 weeks.  

Best of all, NatureMill provides home gardeners with a source of rich, organic compost.  And there is something uniquely satisfying about witnessing the entire food chain: from the garden, to the dining table, and back to the garden again. 


Source: NatureMill, Inc and Green Living Center: 2010


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