Trash is a fact of life, especially in our densely-packed and urbanized society. Due to modern infrastructure and trash pickup services, we often don't consider the sheer volume of trash each home produces — we wheel it out to the street, the garbage truck comes, and it's out of sight and out of mind. However, if a major disaster occurs, trash pickup services will cease and waste buildup will become a serious problem.

Trash garbage waste landfill

One solution that can alleviate the burden of waste buildup is composting. By burying organic material in a layered structure with the right amount of moisture, composting naturally degrades waste into valuable fertilizer. Grass, leaves, sawdust, paper, cardboard, fruit peels, eggshells, and even hair can be re-purposed into a substance that enriches your soil and helps your home garden thrive.

Fruit food plant tree peach

In everyday life, composting is easy and beneficial. When trash pickup is not an option, composting is even more attractive. The alternative is a smelly disorganized trash heap that serves no purpose — unless you're looking to attract rodents or insect pests. A properly-constructed compost heap will put this waste to good use.

The following infographic from shows the benefits of compost, and how it turns trash into treasure. Click here to download a full-size version. (Note that the items you “cannot” compost may vary depending on local laws; in an emergency, composting human and animal waste is an option, but it may be against the law during normal circumstances.)

Infographic compost gardening food plants trees fruit vegetable 4Infographic compost gardening food plants trees fruit vegetable 5Infographic compost gardening food plants trees fruit vegetable 2Infographic compost gardening food plants trees fruit vegetable 3

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