Letter: State should encourage industrial composting

Published: 3/25/2020 12:01:17 AM

Many people do not realize that industrial composting in New Hampshire is illegal; some may be surprised by this as New Hampshire is usually seen as a leader in sustainability and environmental movements. The law that made composting illegal went into effect in 1993 – people were concerned that an industrial composting facility would smell too bad. Composting, however, if done correctly, hardly smells at all.

Additionally, food waste does not naturally decompose in a landfill because the waste is too compacted, and the organic material does not have enough oxygen around it to decompose. Alarmingly, 30% to 40% of all food in the United States is wasted, according to the USDA.

Fortunately, many folks here in New Hampshire compost on their own land or farms. Those of us who live in apartments, however, really have no option but to throw out all our food waste, which will inevitably end up in a landfill. This is a big impact to the environment, considering that food waste is a large contributor to climate change. Compost, on the other hand, is rich in nutrients and can be applied back to the earth and help gardens grow.

It’s time for New Hampshire to not only allow but encourage industrial composting.



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