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Economic Benefits

Composting programs have highly favorable economics, compared with the land-filling of organic waste. For example, a composting program in Seattle is saving taxpayers about $18 per ton of organic waste, and is diverting about 554 lb (252 kg) of garbage per household out of landfills each year. Similarly, the town of Oyster Bay, Long Island, instituted a leaf-composting program that generated 11,000 tons of compost for use by local gardeners, while saving $138 per ton previous spent to truck the leaves out of state for land-filling. The town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, composts more than 0.5 million cubic feet of leaves each year, producing humus that is sold for $5 per cubic yard, while saving $200,000 annually in disposal costs. Islip, New York, saves $5 million each year by composting grass clippings, which were once exported along with other garbage by barge to the Caribbean. If every county in the United States instituted composting programs of these kinds, the overall net savings could be $1.6 billion per year.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Reason to RetrovirusRecycling - Process, Legislation, Policies, Recycling Collection Programs, Recyclable Materials, Composting, Preparing The Compost