ECONOMIC ASPECTS

Economic returns from utilizing organic manure and wastes on the land are generally known to all farmers and experienced gardeners. They realize that yields and the maintenance of soil fertility depend upon reclamation of these organic materials. Composting organic matter to make them safe for use on agricultural lands and gardens is economically sound, and a way to cut down on the volume of waste materials at the landfills or incinerators. Keeping the organic wastes out of the solid waste stream holds down the cost for the community in disposal cost.

Compost contains valuable nutrients that could replace and/or supplement use of commercial fertilizers by homeowners. Use of chemical fertilizers can be cut down to a minimum. Excessive usage of commercial fertilizers by homeowners can contaminate surface and groundwater with nitrates. Excess nitrates in ground and surface water can lead to human health hazards.

Municipalities that own wastes after collecting, and are responsible for sanitary disposal, are usually not directly concerned with their utilization in agriculture/horticulture. Municipality interest is primarily in the sanitary disposal of the waste materials.

Salvaging urban wastes for agricultural use offers an opportunity for closer cooperation between urban and rural elements in improving the total economy of an area. It is impossible to evaluate such cooperation in monetary terms; however, it has been demonstrated many times in various areas of the world that developments in one segment of a community can benefit another and be profitable for both.

Economic reclamation of municipal organic wastes depend upon low cost production which permits distribution of large quantities of composted organic materials at a sufficiently low price to make its use attractive to agriculture and horticulture operations.

Many commercial compost plant operators have found a profitable market among truck gardeners, nurseries and landscaping operation. There is a need for good humus in our fast growing community. Many new homes and commercially buildings have topsoil brought in, which is usually stripped, from good agricultural land. The humus from composting organic wastes could be used as a substitute for topsoil now used by landscape contractors and homeowners