Composting is a broad term that has come to be associated with many different biological processes. For most purposes, composting is a method of turning what would otherwise be considered as waste into something usable. Rather than sending unwanted leftovers or expired food to the trash, which ultimately finds its way to an incinerator or landfill to fester, this organic matter can be reused in a more meaningful way. Leaves and weeds are also common sources of green waste that are used as compost material. Compost is used as a fuel for plant growth in landscaping, gardening, horticulture, and in other agricultural applications.
The effort to conserve and reuse waste is gaining momentum. Many people are awakening to the fact that they can use their waste for productive purposes. Nevertheless, there is still much room for improvement. Last year the EPA estimates that Americans discarded 35 million tons of food. The 35 million tons comprises an estimated 14 percent of the annual incinerator and landfill mass. These numbers are troubling, particularly when considering that there are still many populations struggling with hunger.