MANILA - Many households do not give a second look at the waste coming from their kitchens — leftovers are either recycled and turned into a new meal, fed to pets, or thrown in the trash bin along with fruits and vegetable scraps and peels.
But for environmentalists, people can begin composting at home, instead of throwing and letting their kitchen waste end up in landfills.
According to Mother Earth Foundation Project Manager Shelley Carbonel-Mentoya, this is a “process of biological decomposition of organic matter to form humus-like material,” which can be used as soil conditioner.
Citing studies from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, kitchen waste comprises 45% or nearly half of total waste being generated, followed by paper (17%), recyclable plastic (16%) and garden waste (7%).
“Organic waste in landfills generate methane -- ito yung mga sinasabing potent na greenhouse gas. By composting, nare-reduce ang emission ng methane gas,” she said.
(Organic waste in landfills generate methane, said to be a potent greenhouse gas. By composting, you reduce methane gas emission.)
Composting also saves on disposal costs, reduces the need for chemical fertilizer, and encourages home gardening.
Carbonel-Mentoya said composting is being done already in various areas using different methods.
But for those who want to begin or are living in small spaces, they could start clay-pot composting.
Other types include drum composting, sack composting, pipe- composting, bio pore, and vermiculture.
For those who wish to begin composting, she advises them to start segregating their wastes.
“Make sure na kapag kayo ay nagko-compost, ang gagawin ninyo, by layer po sya— lupa, ilalagay ang food waste, pagkatapos nito lupa hanggang sa mapuno siya, parang sandwich,” she explained.
(Make sure that when you compost, do it by layer--first the soil, then the food waste, and then soli again, just like sandwich.)
Usually, it takes up to 2 weeks and beyond before it can be used as soil conditioner. If it smells, it means it is not yet ready, she said.
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