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Aerobic compost is a carbon sink

11 Sep 2008

USA Environmental Protection Agency confirms advantages of aerobic composting


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Carbon Emissions and Aerobic Compost Facts

- EPA concludes aerobic composting does not contribute to CO2, CH4, or N2O emissions, the main contributors to greenhouse gas response and global warming

- Any emissions from aerobic composting are considered part of the natural carbon cycle

- Proper aerobic composting eliminates methane production

- Aerobic compost can be used as a landfill cover to reduce and eliminate methane emissions and odor as a result

- Aerobic composting appears to be the safest way of converting organic waste streams into a stable value added product

- Carbon is essential for soil stability and fertility

- Aerobic compost creates a “sink”- (long term storage in the soil) helping reduce emissions in the atmosphere by sequestering (locking up) the carbon in the soil

- Current estimates 20 million tons of carbon are stored annually in the US soil with the potential to store an estimated 180 million tons annually or 12 –14 % of annual emissions in the US, approximately 1.7 billion metric tonnes per year

- Compost can also work as a bio filter for removing 80 –90 % of volatile organic compounds from gas streams substantially reducing odors

- The amount of structure in the windrow has a direct relation to the volume of CO2 emissions. Poor structure with excessive density requires additional turning and usually results in higher CO2 readings.

- Converting organic waste into aerobic compost provides us with the potential to enhance the growth of beneficial micro organisms in the soil, new or existing vegetation, allowing for more respiration in our atmosphere, which results in a reduction in CO2 levels