Nationwide, food scraps make up 24% by weight of material going into landfills. The EPA says that food scraps are the largest single material by weight that goes into landfills. There are many ramifications. Our towns pay trash haulers by weight. Reducing weight can save tax dollars. Of particular importance, food scraps in landfills produce methane gas that is a hugely significant greenhouse gas.
Therefore, composting has great benefits, not the least of which is producing great fertilizer for our gardens.
What can be composted?
Organic material, including grass clippings, leaves, vegetable food scraps, grains, bread, disease free yard waste, black and white newspaper, printer paper, cardboard, vegetarian animal manure, wood shavings, and sawdust. Paper and cardboard should be cut up to expedite decomposition.
What shouldn't be composted?
Diseased yard waste: Plants that are blighted or have died from a fungus or other such problem should not be composted. Composting will not kill the disease and it can spread to other plants.
Meat, fats, dairy products and bones: These products can carry pathogens that are not broken down in composting. They also can attract animals who will be extremely persistent in trying to get into the compost bin!
Manure from carnivorous animals.
There are many great on-line resources for those interested in composting.