This week (May 2-8) the Compost Foundation is organizing the International Compost Awareness Week, the “largest and most comprehensive educational initiative” in the composting industry.
This year’s theme – “Grow, Eat, Compost, Repeat” – aims to empower people to see the importance of composting in growing food, supporting the soil and creating a more sustainable world.
The week encourages thousands of volunteers around the world to engage with composting through workshops, competitions, and fundraisers.
Compost organizations such as the European Compost Network and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association have expressed their support for the goals of the awareness initiative.
Stefanie Siebert, Managing Director of the European Compost Network, said: “The composting of organic waste is a win-win solution.
“Not only does it reduce the harmful effects of bio-waste rotting in landfills or lost through incineration, it also helps keep the soil healthy by promoting biodiversity and ecosystem services. Compost Awareness Week aims to bring these benefits to people around the world. “
Massimo Centermero, General Manager of the Italian Composting and Biogas Association, said: “Since the 1990s, Italy has been composting more and more food waste, currently around 5 million tons, which is 70 percent of all food waste available in the country and around half of all in the country EU composted food waste.
“We return around 2.5 million tons of high-quality compost to the ground. In a country at risk of desertification, this contributes to resilient, long-term agricultural security.
“The key to success is high quality inputs that guarantee high quality outputs and technologically advanced facilities that are able to manage this waste.”
The Compost Foundation highlighted the benefits of composting ahead of the week, noting that composting will recycle 83 million tons of organic waste and reduce carbon dioxide equivalents by 9 million tons per year.
It is said that these benefits could be increased 12-fold if organic waste were collected and composted separately.
Susan Antler, Executive Director of the Compost Council of Canada, said, “Research shows that compost helps plant productivity and can improve the nutritional content of the vegetables grown in it.
“At a time when nearly ten percent of the world’s population is facing severe food insecurity, compost is a natural and, most importantly, accessible solution to improving both the quality and safety of food for everyone.”