Entries by Lynn Lucas


Aim for the best waste management strategy

Whatever happened to aiming for the best waste management option?  If it’s easier to do, then it’s the thing to do.  If the job can be done faster by cutting corners, go for it.  If it’s the cheapest option, buy two.  Somewhere along the path of societal evolution, easiest-fastest-cheapest has become synonymous with best.  This linguistic transmogrification is […]


Considering composting as a municipal service?

Considering the pros and cons of waste management technologies? Evaluations of waste management technologies can be riddled with inaccurate, incomplete, and outdated information – and the full dollar value of compost use is rarely included. Elected officials making decisions on behalf of taxpayers may be experts in their respective fields.  But most lack knowledge in […]

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True sustainability requires a system

True sustainability requires a system, not marketing-speak Sticking a bird’s head on a spider does not transform that organism into a creature capable of flight.  Adding energy generation to incinerators and landfills doesn’t make them sustainable systems for organic waste management, either.  “Sustainable” is one of those words that has been co-opted by Madison Avenue, […]


Lab test lingo: How much is 1 PPM?

Lab test lingo:  How much is 1 PPM? Test results — compost analytical reports included — often convey constituent concentrations in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L).  Both state the fraction of the tested substance found per one million units of gas, liquid, or solid. But what does that really mean?  Is […]


FAQ: Do I have to rake fall leaves?

FAQ: Do I have to rake fall leaves? Nature drops fall leaves for a reason, and it’s not to give sightseers an excuse to tour the countryside.  Those red, yellow, and gold gems will eventually decay to help fertilize the soil for the coming season.   So, no, leaf raking is not a necessity.  Know, however, […]


FAQ: Is fall a good time to use compost?

FAQ: Is fall a good time to use compost? Most definitely, yes.  In fact, some believe the fall season is the best time to add compost to lawns and gardens.  For grassy areas, sprinkle a little over the surface and rake in.  For planting beds, add compost and work into the top layer of soil.  […]


FAQ: How does compost protect drinking water?

FAQ: How does compost protect drinking water? Primary sources of drinking water include wells, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.  Compost will protect drinking water sources by breaking down pollutants and reducing erosion/siltation in runoff.  Microbial activity and absorption of rainfall energy are among the mechanisms at work. Soil microbes break down many chemicals — like petroleum […]


Estimating volumes for composting

Estimating organic waste volumes for composting  Imagine you’re the facilities manager for a large commercial building or institution, staring at a row of overflowing carts or roll-off boxes sidled up to the wall in the alley or back parking lot.  They’re filled with crumpled paper, reams of old reports, food leftovers, used coffee pods, an avalanche of plastic bottles […]