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Press Release
Waste Management for a Circular World:
How Composting and Recycling Stack up for Sustainability

Every day in the United States, more than 700,000 tons of waste goes to landfills. Some will be burned for energy, and some will stay in the dump; however, a large portion will be recycled or composted.

Every day more than 700,000 tons of waste—enough to fill over 60,000 garbage trucks—makes its way to landfills across the US. While some will be burned for energy and some will stay in the dump, a large portion will be diverted toward one of two solutions valued for their environmental impact: recycling or composting.

To understand how each solution works, imagine the journey of two of those trucks. Each is filled with material that is both recyclable and compostable, namely fiber and paper products like magazines, cardboard boxes, and packaging.

The first truck takes its load to be composted. Composting is a process where organic waste—including products made from organic materials like wood pulp—is left to break down into smaller components and become fertilizer. This process can sometimes be confused with biodegrading. The difference —according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) — is that some biodegradable materials, such as plastic, take years to break down and still leave a harmful residue, while materials classified as compostable leave no visible, distinguishable, or toxic residue. The humus that remains from composting is full of nutrients that make great fertilizer which, depending on who is doing the composting, can then be sold for household or commercial purposes.

Read more here.

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