. . . all terms you have undoubtedly heard, in one form or another, each expanding on the need to respond to our current environmental crisis. In short, if we don’t drastically change the manner in which we process the tons and tons of waste we produce, on a daily basis, our planet will be in deeper trouble than we are already experiencing.
Current Best Case
While traditionally related to the science and art of caring for trees, shrubs and other woody plants in landscape settings, the term “arboriculture” is now popularly used to define sources of carbon in composting processes. For example, leaf collection from local municipalities, yard waste from local landscapers and wood chips from local tree service companies are typical sources. Arboriculture waste still accounts for up to 18% of the waste going into landfills.
Some efforts are being taken to minimize what goes into landfills. Leaves collected by municipalities are typically added to static piles called “windrows” where reliance is placed on Mother Nature to decompose the raw material. While the current “best practice” and a better alternative to a landfill, maintenance of these windrows still requires periodic turning or mixing which, in turn, requires the use of special equipment, typically diesel powered, which, in turn, consumes fuel and contributes to emissions, requires time, adds to operational costs and produces a nitrogen poor end product. Cycle time to a reusable product is approximately one year.
Current Worst Case
The good news is that produce growers are constantly seeking better ways to produce nutrient and vitamin rich products without the need for artificial or chemical fertilizers or stimulants. “Organically Grown” is becoming the new by-word.
The bad news is that the left over produce, removed from grocery shelves, is unceremoniously tossed into a dumpster where it will eventually be transported to a landfill.
Food waste (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.) accounts for 33% of the waste going into landfills.
Each person produces about 5 pounds of waste per day which works out to nearly ONE TON OF WASTE PER YEAR.
Add these factors to the tons and tons of non-organic material that also goes into landfills and we begin to understand that landfills are finite structures that offer no return on the costs of maintenance and operation. They take up lots of space and the problem isn’t solved just because the waste is buried. As the buried organic material “ferments,” methane gas is produced. Allowing that gas to escape into the atmosphere has drastic consequences for the environment.
The folks at Arborganic Acres can’t provide the total solution to landfills or solve all of the current environmental problems but they can use current technology and innovative solutions to make a significant dent in reducing the organic material going into landfills. And, best of all, they can reprocess that material into environmentally beneficial products for residential and commercial use that replenish the land, enhance biological growth, avoid the use of chemicals and pesticides and eliminate the need to dispose of those same materials into landfills. “Organically Recycled” can be the new by-word.