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Recycling 101

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Recycling Education Coordinator

About 40 percent of Minnesota garbage is organic waste and much of what you send to landfill is quite compostable right in your own back yard. But, why would you want to compost your garbage? Well, perhaps it is fun, perhaps it is relatively easy, perhaps you are tired of sending all that stuff to the landfill, or perhaps you want to make an additive for your lawn and gardens that your plants will just love.

Composting can save you a bit of cash by using less garbage bags and the finished product, ready for your garden, is more or less free. You will reduce the amount of waste that is created by your yard, your garden, and your kitchen by converting leaves, grass, and kitchen scraps into a usable soil amendment. Compost frequently reduces the need for additional fertilizers and makes a good mulch for new plants. And, if done correctly, there are no foul odors in the process.

The Minnesota Composting Council and Blue Bag Organics have stated that plants grown in compost-rich soils require less watering because of the increased infiltration and storage capacity of root systems. The reduction of water run off, evaporation, and water usage by weeds is significant. Research has shown that the application of compost can reduce the need for watering by 30 to 70 percent.

Please take a few minutes to check out composting on the web and see how it would work for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am also available for presentations to church groups and civic groups concerning recycling, as well as composting in Fillmore County, free of charge.

Here are some statements dealing with how we impact the environment. Ninety percent of atmospheric mercury that falls into Minnesota lakes and streams and makes some of our fish unsafe to eat comes from outside the state.

Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal. Over two-thirds of aluminum ever produced is still in use today. It can be recycled over and over again. In 2009, Minnesota recycled 38,500 tons of aluminum. One hundred ninety two thousand, five hundred tons of bauxite was left in the ground by recycling that amount of aluminum.

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