Effectiveness of home composting for the diversion of the organic fraction of household waste from landfill
Increasing composting activity will be an integral part of meeting the obligations of EU Directives, however, the extent to which composting at home can play its part still remains poorly defined. Reliable and comprehensive statistics on home composting are very difficult to obtain as the activity cannot be monitored effectively. It is an activity that is entirely in the hands of the people, and it is the voluntary behaviours of those people, that will ultimately determine the success of home composting within any waste management strategy. Understanding home composting means understanding the people that compost. To date, most waste management strategies have concentrated on recycling with relatively little attention being paid to home composting. According to requirements of EU Directives and legislation on landfilling of waste sustainable waste management practices need to be developed. Composting of organic waste provides a viable alternative to landfill at the present time. Although home composting is rated highly on the hierarchy of control, little has been achieved in Ireland to develop home composting as an effective means of diverting the organic fraction of waste from landfill. While other EU countries have developed home composting strategies, Ireland has no formal programme in place for the development of home composting. Home composting as a waste management strategy is currently being promoted by local authorities. Home composting if developed and managed effectively could prove to be a viable means of diverting organic waste from Ireland’s currently overloaded waste stream. Some of the main results from this survey which aimed to determine the effectiveness of home composting and the diversion of the organic fraction of household waste from landfill indicate that this statement is true The main findings from the report are as follows, further details in how these findings were obtained and detailed analysis of the results can be read throughout this report • The majority of respondents 87% regularly make compost and 72% participate in Leitrim County Council’s Home Composting Scheme. • 64% of respondents were happy with their home composting units. ii • 62% of respondents had heard of the council’s home composting scheme through the newspaper or radio. • 54% of respondents believed that their soil had been improved as a result of Home Composting • The main problems noted were that the composting process is too slow and that insects such as fruit flies are attracted to the unit. • The main materials put into the composting units were vegetable peelings, annual weeds, grass mowings, plant debris e.g. leaves, potted plants and newspaper. Other material that was composted included egg shells, egg boxes, tea bags and turf mould. • 89% of respondents said that they put material into the composting units throughout the year. • 72% of respondents stated the approximate quantity of waste they place in the compost bin per week. 44 households highlighted a total of 351,5kgs of waste being placed in their bin per week. This totals 18 tonnes of waste for 44 households per year.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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