Competent Communication manual - Project 3 - Get to the Point: Reducing Waste by Composting

IntroductionLandfill

I’d like for you all to close your eyes and imagine living next to a landfill. 4.6 pounds of new garbage brought in every day for each person that the landfill serves. The smell off rotting fruits and vegetables, and lawn debris. The sound of heavy earth moving equipment and constant traffic in and out of the place. With landfills filling up at an alarming rate and the difficulty in creating new ones, changes must be made.

I’m going to cover how we can reduce our waste by up to 30% by composting. I’ll cover the top 2 reasons for composting and using a composting tumbler.

After hearing my presentation this evening, you will be armed with the knowledge and resources to start you own compost heap.

Body

First off, what is composting?

Composting is the natural breakdown of organic matter. In our context we are only interested in two categories:

  • Browns which consist of Leaves, Shredded paper, Eggshells and other like materials.
  • Greens which consist of Weeds, Coffee Grounds, vegetable peelings and other like materials.

We do not include meat, dairy or feces. These can be dangerous if not broken down properly and the resulting compost could be contaminated and not suitable for use on vegetable or flower gardens.

Top 2 reasons for composting. Why should we compost? If organic matter is going to break down anyway, why not let that happen at the landfill?

  1. Free and Organic Fertilizer which is excellent and safe to use on vegetable and flower gardens.Fertilizer
    Compost is cheap to create, by merely recycling what you would normally throw out. Using compost in your garden improves the soil structure, texture, aeration, and increases the soil’s water holding capacity. Depending on the materials being composted and how you choose to go about composting, you can create usable compost in as little as 6 weeks.
  2. Composting is good for the environment. By composting at home, we can save the fuel required to haul 30% of the organic waste to the landfill. In the landfill, much of the organic matter is buried and will decompose at a much slower rate because it is missing air, which is required for a normal breakdown. When buried, as the organic matter breaks down it creates a harmful greenhouse gas called methane which damages the earths atmosphere. When the same waste is composted above ground, hardly any methane is produced.

Compost Tumblers

Compost TumblerProvides a simple method to composting. The bin is typically above ground which makes it easier to control the moisture content, temperature and keep easy to rotate to keep it well aerated. The compost will be ready to use in as little as 6 weeks depending on the materials added to the compost.

I picked my tumbler up at Sam’s on for $79 down from $99. It’s rugged and easy to use.

Now you may be asking, how can I jump in and get fully engaged in composting? In Lexington, the city Division of Waste Management is offering free workshops on how to start and maintain a home composting system.

The workshops will be held:

Thursday, August 18th, and Tuesday September 20th.

http://lexingtonky.gov/index.aspx?recordid=2661&page=24

Closing

Now, we’ve covered

  • Composting is the natural breakdown of organic matter.
  • Composting provides free and organic fertilizer. Great for vegetable and flower gardens.
  • Composting is good for the environment. We can reduce up to 30% of the waste going to the landfill simply by composting.
  • The Compost tumbler is a simple and easy style of composter to start out with.
  • Lexington workshops on “how to start and maintain a home composting system” are coming up.
  • I encourage all of you to give composting a try. It’s easy, interesting, and fun to see the process and know that you created the fertilizer that your vegetables or flowers are growing in.

Speech given 8/8/11 at Bluegrass Toastmasters club meeting.