Approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of our municipal solid waste (MSW) is food and lawn waste that can be composted. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2001, U.S. residents, businesses, and institutions produced more than 229 million tons of municipal solid waste. Of this, 12.2 percent was yard trimmings and 11.4 percent was food scraps.
Connecticut laws forbid the burning of leaves and grass at trash-to-energy facilities, so composting is a vital part of our integrated solid waste management.
Composting our food waste, cut grass and fallen leaves can significantly reduce our garbage and create a healthy soil additive. Home composting avoids the expense, energy and pollution of bagging, collecting and transporting organic waste to be composted or disposed of elsewhere.
GrassCycling is a kind of home composting. Grass clippings left on the lawn decompose and fertilize the lawn. Leaving them on the lawn also reduces weeds and holds in moisture. It is not only beneficial to the lawn, but it reduces garbage and the work and expense involved in bagging and collecting the grass and the pollution involved in transporting it.
To learn more about home composting and grass cycling, click Resource Links on Composting.
If you cannot compost your lawn and food waste at your home, contact your department of public works or town hall to learn about your municipality's composting programs. Residents of CRRA member towns can find the phone number in Member Towns.