How Much Household Waste Can Be Composted In Gardening?

How Much Household Waste Can Be Composted In Gardening?

Waste management is a pressing issue in modern society, with landfills reaching capacity and environmental concerns escalating. However, sustainable gardening provides a remarkable opportunity to address this challenge by diverting household waste through composting and recycling. In this article, we will explore the percentage of household waste that can be effectively diverted through these practices, highlighting the environmental benefits and practical steps for implementing sustainable waste management in gardening.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately 30-40% of the total waste stream is compostable organic material, making composting a significant opportunity for waste reduction.
  • According to the EPA, recycling one ton of paper can save around 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 7,000 gallons of water.
  • A study published in the journal Resources, Conservation, and Recycling found that 88% of household waste in the United Kingdom could be recycled or composted, demonstrating the substantial potential for waste diversion.
  • The World Bank reports that globally, only about 13.5% of waste is recycled, highlighting the need for increased efforts to promote sustainable waste management practices.

Composting: Transforming Organic Waste into Nutrient-rich Soil:

Composting is a natural process that converts organic waste, such as kitchen scraps, yard trimmings, and plant residues, into nutrient-rich compost. By diverting this waste from landfills, composting not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also creates a valuable resource for improving soil health and fertility. Studies suggest that approximately 30-50% of household waste is compostable, meaning a significant portion can be diverted from the waste stream.

Recycling: Giving New Life to Non-Organic Waste:

While composting addresses organic waste, recycling plays a crucial role in managing non-organic waste generated in gardening activities. Materials such as plastic containers, metal cans, glass bottles, and cardboard packaging can be recycled, reducing the need for virgin materials and minimizing the environmental impact of extraction and manufacturing. The percentage of recyclable waste varies depending on local recycling programs, but on average, around 20-30% of household waste can be recycled.

Practical Steps for Implementing Sustainable Waste Management in Gardening:

  1. Segregation: Proper waste segregation is essential for effective composting and recycling. Set up separate bins for organic waste and recyclables, ensuring that items are correctly sorted to avoid contamination.
  2. Composting Systems: Choose a suitable composting system based on available space and requirements. Options include backyard compost bins, worm composting (vermicomposting), or community composting initiatives.
  3. Education and Awareness: Promote awareness about the importance of waste diversion and educate gardeners on composting techniques, recycling guidelines, and the environmental benefits of sustainable waste management.
  4. Local Resources: Seek information from local authorities or gardening organizations regarding composting and recycling programs, collection services, and any specific guidelines or regulations to follow.


Gardening provides a remarkable opportunity to divert a significant percentage of household waste through composting and recycling. By composting organic waste and recycling non-organic materials, gardeners can contribute to waste reduction, conserve resources, and mitigate environmental impact. Implementing practical steps, such as proper waste segregation, choosing appropriate composting systems, and raising awareness among gardeners, can significantly increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfills. By embracing sustainable waste management practices in gardening, we can play an active role in creating a more environmentally conscious and resource-efficient society.

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