Can you compost that? A cheat sheet on what goes in the bin | Food


On a microscopic level, composting refers to a biological process where bacteria, fungi and even worms break down organic material to generate a product that looks like soil but is technically a soil amendment. This nutrient-rich blend can be used to improve soil quality, making it easier to grow everything from house plants to crops.

On a practical level, compost — a product formed in darkness — is increasingly stepping into the spotlight. Earlier this year, New York City announced plans to expand its composting program citywide by late 2024, the latest example of a trend that in the U.S. started with San Francisco’s launch of a composting program in 1996. Other cities, including Seattle, Boston and Boulder, Colorado, have also unveiled composting programs, and in 2020 Vermont went a step further, banning the disposal of food scraps in trash or landfill waste.

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