First off, what is compost? Composting, also known as organic recycling, is the natural breakdown of organic matter over time. How does composting work? Fungi, bacteria, insects, worms and other organisms break down organic waste to produce nutrient-rich compost.
What Are the Methods of Composting?
There are two different kinds of composting – home composting, and commercial composting. Today, we’re going to break down the difference and take a look at the benefits of composting.
Why Does it Matter?
Knowing the difference between these two composting methods is important. Put simply, it makes it much easier to dispose of packaging responsibly, as well as identifying different types of compost bins when out and about.
Because, while almost all organic waste can be composted at home, not all compostable packaging can be. Some packaging can be easily broken down in home composting systems, while some needs the regulated environment of a commercial facility.
How to compost at home
Home composting is exactly what you think – composting that is done at home. While the end result of nutrient-dense soil food is similar to that of commercial composting facilities, the main difference is that the process is a little less regulated when it comes to temperature and atmosphere. This means: not all packaging will break down in a home composting environment.
Industrial composting involves organic waste being sent to a commercial facility where it is mass-composted. The methods for this type of composting are different to home composting and are much easier to control and maintain.
Types of commercial composts
Aerated Static Pile
Process in which decomposing organic material is placed in piles over an air supply system that can be used to supply oxygen and control temperature for the purpose of producing compost. Piles must be insulated to assure that all parts of the decomposing material reach and maintain temperatures at or above 55°C for a minimum of three days.
Process in which decomposing organic materials are placed in long piles for the purpose of producing compost. The piles are periodically turned or agitated to assure all parts of the decomposing material reach the desired stability.
Process in which decomposing organic material is enclosed in a drum, silo, bin, tunnel, or other container for the purpose of producing compost; and in which temperature, moisture and air-borne emissions are controlled, vectors are excluded and nuisance and odour generation minimized.
Learn more about the differences between home and commercial composting.
It’s really important to look out for composting certifications when disposing of compostable packaging. At BioPak, we adhere to Australian and New Zealand standards: AS4736 for commercially compostable, and AS5810 for home compostable.
For home compostable packaging, look for this symbol.
For commercially compostable packaging, look for this symbol.