Recycling of organic materials in NSW
What are organic materials?
Everything that once lived is an organic material. This includes grass clippings and prunings from gardens, food scraps from kitchens and restaurants, wood and timber from building and construction activities, and biosolids from sewage treatment plants.
Why recycle organic materials?
Around 50% of household waste and 30% of all waste we throw away is organic. This represents a wasted resource that fills limited landfill space. Organic matter in landfill breaks down and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and contributes to landfill leachate that can impact on the environment.
Composting of organic materials at home and in large-scale facilities is part of a growing trend in NSW to better manage and re-use organic material that we no longer need.
What is compost?
Compost is a natural product from the breakdown of organic material under controlled conditions. Whether it is a bin in your garden, or a purpose-built composting facility, composting can provide a useful soil-like material that can help plants and gardens grow.
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Environmental benefits of organics recycling
Composting or worm farming organic materials at home, or placing your garden prunings out for council collection for recycling can achieve major environmental benefits. Some of these are:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from landfill
- Reduced leachate production in landfills, which can impact on groundwater quality
- Conserves limited landfill space available to metropolitan and regional centres and townships.
The use of compost in gardening, landscaping, horticulture and in agriculture can:
- Reduce the amount of watering required
- Reduce the amount of synthetic fertilisers needed
- Improve the structure, fertility and health of soils
- Help to repair soils suffering from poor management
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Page last updated: 12 July 2012