In addition, most fertilizers are manufactured from fossil fuels – not in abundant supply. Distances from point of manufacture to markets are considerable, often over oceans. Raw materials for compost manufacture are sourced locally. Compost products are used locally. Both reduce transport-related energy consumption.
Why composting? The #1 reason isn’t about recycling or diversion
It may surprise some that the #1 answer to “Why composting?” isn’t related to the process, but the product. The most important reason to compost (the verb) is because it results in compost (the noun).
Finding ways to save landfill space and reduce the generation of greenhouse gases are important reasons to compost biodegradable materials. But human activities deplete topsoil at an accelerated rate. Compost is the only product that can economically, efficiently and naturally restore and maintain soil productivity.
Compost use builds organic matter. A healthy soil requires less synthetic fertilizer. It retains more rainwater, aids nutrient uptake, and degrades pollutants.
In fact, many of the problems related to water quality and water supply are related to poor soil quality. The need to return organic matter to the soil through compost use cannot be under-valued as a tool for managing stormwater and improving water quality.