Advantages & Disadvantages of Composting

Overview

When composting, you collect organic matter such as yard clippings and vegetable peels into a pile or bin, turning and mixing the materials until they decompose. Although composting has many advantages, it also has certain disadvantages that you should consider before deciding if composting is for you.

Cost

Composting produces a rich soil conditioner for your garden that keeps you from having to purchase expensive fertilizer or mulch, an obvious benefit, especially if you're watching your gardening budget.

Time Frame

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, traditional compost-holding units can take up to two years to produce finished compost, which is an obvious disadvantage if you want to use your compost quickly.

Materials

Although the matter that you compost is typically available at no cost, collecting compost materials usually requires a significant time investment, which can discourage many would-be composters.

Environmental Impact

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, composting provides the benefit of preventing pollution since it utilizes organic materials that would typically end up in landfills.

Considerations

Compost often attracts unwanted pests such as mice and insects, particularly if your compost pile contains food scraps or vegetable peels.

References

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Home Composting
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Composting
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About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.