Introduction: Composting for a Circular Economy

Watch the YouTube Video below about Circular Economy.

“The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life span of materials is extended.
This results in reducing waste to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value.”

(European Parliament, 2023)

Looking at this simplified diagram that explains Circular Economy do you think composting can be an example of Circular Economy?

Compost Gardening

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants. Anything that grows decomposes eventually; composting simply speeds up the process by providing an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposing organisms (such as worms, sowbugs, and nematodes) to do their work. The resulting decomposed matter, which often ends up looking like fertile garden soil, is called compost. Fondly referred to by farmers as “black gold,” compost is rich in nutrients and can be used for gardening, horticulture, and agriculture. Organic discards can be processed in industrial-scale composting facilities, in smaller-scale community composting systems, and in anaerobic digesters, among other options. This guide focuses primarily on home composting, which is a great way to keep your organic discards out of the waste stream and produce a valuable soil amendment for your own use.

Composting for a Circular Economy

Composting turns organic waste into useful materials. Like the cycle of life and decomposition in nature, and it’s a good example of a Circular Economy. Even recycled paper and cardboard may be better off being composted instead of recycled again. Composting uses fewer resources than recycling, and paper products can only be recycled between five to seven times before the fibres are typically too short to be recycled further. You can also compost paper products that are not suitable for recycling, such as food-stained cardboard. Composting can lower emissions, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, and create an end product that benefits the soil.

Click below to read more about Composting and Circular Economy.