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Home composting generates greenhouse gas, academics warn

Home composting efforts may be doing more harm than good in the fight against global warming, writes James Cartledge.

As many as three-quarters of homes composting their own garden clippings and vegetable peelings are not aerating their compost heaps or composting bins properly, according to claims made yesterday.

Millions of homes are now actively composting their waste at home, but could be damaging rather than helping the environment, academics believe 
Material breaking down without enough oxygen generates the powerful “greenhouse” gas methane, which is thought to have an impact on global warming 20 times worse than carbon dioxide.

Speaking yesterday at a conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, Professor Jan Gronow of London’s Imperial College warned that as well as home composting, badly-run centralised composting facilities were generating methane emissions.

Prof Gronow said: “Emissions from home composting and poorly-run composting operations may contribute significant amounts of methane. 75% of people’s home composting bins are anaerobic because they do not aerate them.

More at LetsRecycle.com Composting News

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