The Art and Science of Composting

Y.M. Saegusa
Published in
6 min readJul 10, 2021

Composting enriches the soil and reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills

What is composting?

Compost is an organic material and the end product of composting. Composting is the natural process of turning organic matter into fertilizer that can be used to enrich the soil and feed plants. Though organic matter will decompose on its own if left to nature, a properly managed composting system will provide an environment that is suitable for microorganisms, bacteria, and insects that all aid in breaking down organic matter, speeding up the decomposition process.

Compost can be bought at your local hardware store or nursery or you can make them on your own. Though some composting methods will require a backyard (local regulations might prohibit it), you can effectively compost using nothing but a bucket on your balcony or even in the kitchen.

Composting options / Chart created by author using PowerPoint / CC-BY-NC

Based on the space that you have available while factoring in the quantity of organic waste produced by your household and the amount of time that you have at hand to manage the composting process, you can select the option that best suits your lifestyle.

What are the benefits of composting?

There are various benefits to composting.

One of the beauties of composting is that it is scalable. Whether you have a small bin on the balcony or a full-scale compost pile in the backyard, anyone can start composting their kitchen scraps and gardening waste.

Composting reduces waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), compostable materials make up more than 30% of what we throw away. Food scraps and organic waste that would otherwise go to the garbage disposal, landfill, or waste to energy plant can be broken down through composting at home, which means less waste going into the public garbage disposal system.

Additionally, compost will enrich the soil, resulting in healthier plants, which produce nutritious vegetables and fruits. Its referred to as “Black Gold” by farmers and homesteaders for a reason…

Y.M. Saegusa

Advocate for regenerative agriculture and environmentally sustainable living. Future homestead owner. Editor of