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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Don’t Let Food Scraps Go to Waste

Jan 31, 2020 09:02PM
Composting has many benefits. It enriches the soil, even in a city like Detroit. It helps neutralize the elevated levels of lead in the ground, for one thing. Large farms use synthetic fertilizers, which do not enrich the soil. Fruits and vegetables grown this way are of better quality than those produced at an industrial scale. Composting also reduces the burden on landfills and creates a positive effect on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Brother Nature Produce, in North Corktown, is home to piles of odorless organic waste, where owners Greg Willerer and Olivia Hubert maintain the perfect balance of food scraps, yard waste, straw and microbes for the greens they sell at the Eastern Market and restaurants around town. The compost is rich in minerals for soil augmentation.

The most common compostable items are vegetable and fruit scraps, especially the rinds, cores, peels and husks; eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds. Don’t compost meat, fish, dairy products or oils.

Local residents can make or buy a compost bin and put their food waste into it, plus leaves, yard waste, and water to regulate its moisture level. Turn the compost once in a while to make sure every part is exposed to oxygen. After several months, the pile will look dark and ready to use. Work it into the soil of a garden, trees or house plants.

For those that aren’t interested in a compost pile, but want to do their part, Midtown Composting & Recycling (MidtownComposting.com) offers a residential pickup service for $16 a month. Unlimited Recycling (Tinyurl.com/UnlimitedRecycling) offers a version for businesses.