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Pros & Cons of Composting

author image Tammy Dray
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.
Pros & Cons of Composting
Someone is holding soil from a compost heap. Photo Credit Marina Lohrbach/iStock/Getty Images


Those who like gardening might find the idea of composting a logical one. The truth is that composting requires dedication and if you’re planning on doing it, you should be prepared to work on it every day for months. A bin will help you keep the compost pile better contained, but you can also make a pile on the ground, against a corner of your backyard. According to Composting101.com, placing the compost pile near the water source will make it easier to water.

Con: Effort Required

According to the Sustainable Gardening website, composting is not for everyone. To make sure a compost pile comes out right, you need to put time and effort into the project. You’ll need to have the right equipment and be willing to work at it every day. If you don’t protect your pile, you might also run into problems with rodents or flies, which are attracted to the smell or the contents of the pile.

Pro: Good Way to Recycle

Composting is a good way to get rid of items that would otherwise end up in the garbage. According to Discovery’s Planet Green website, you can recycle a number of items from the kitchen, including coffee grounds, tea bags, stale cereal and saltine crackers, nut shells, wet paper towels and expired herbs and spices. You can also compost more unusual things such as cotton balls, old loofahs, pencil shavings and dryer lint. You can even compost your pet’s fur and the hair from your hairbrush.

Con: It Only Works in Certain Weather

Snowy, cold weather is not ideal for composting. Neither is very dry weather, unless you water the compost pile so it stays moist. According to expert gardening site Composting101.com, you’ll need to make sure your compost pile receives plenty of sunlight during the winter to ensure the organic materials continue breaking down. Or you might need to move the compost bin indoors, to a shed or enclosed porch or greenhouse.

Pro: Environmental Benefits

Composting can clean the soil and prevent pollution, according to the EPA. Not only does composting help regenerate poor soils, but it can also prevent erosion and degrade chemicals and preservatives present in wood and in the soil itself. Composting reduces the need for fertilizers, as the compost itself is rich in nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive.

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