What is compost (organic fertilizer)?
Compost is a finely divided bulk material consisting of decomposed organic matter. Primarily used as a plant nutrient and soil fertilizer to stimulate crop growth. It has an important role in improving the properties of the soil, in addition to providing the plant with some important nutrients that the plant needs during its life, which are clean fertilizers and are not harmful to the environment, and have no harm to humans, animals or soil, although many people They associate the production of compost with compost heaps. Most of the compost is produced in large municipal, industrial or agricultural facilities using mechanical equipment to be completely decomposed, heat treated and free from pathogens and weed seeds.
The first human use of manure, as a kind of raw manure (animal dung), was around 3000 BC in Egypt when its use spread directly to fields as fertilizer. Later, manure was mixed with rice straw and other waste, and this mixture was kept in the form of Make stacks until needed. The rain kept the heaps moist and aided the decomposition process, resulting in the production of rich organic compost. The Greeks and Romans knew the value of compost to increase crop production, and they used the decomposed compost to produce summer vegetables in the winter. Christian monasteries also kept the art of composting alive in Europe even after the fall of the Roman Empire, and about 1,200 tons of organic compost was used again by many farmers. Shakespeare mentions it in several of his plays written in the early seventeenth century.
In the United States, Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were prominent landowners during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. When not involved in state affairs, they spent much of their time experimenting with innovative farming practices, including experiments with the production of various fertilizer materials. Over the years, agricultural crops and soil nutrients were depleted on the eastern coast, which led to the widespread use of compost. This trend continued until the early 20th century when it was estimated that 90% of the fertilizer used in the United States came from compost.
All this changed in 1913, when a German company began producing synthetic nitrogen compounds, including fertilizers. These new chemical fertilizers could be produced with less cost than manure, and farmyard compost heaps quickly became a thing of the past. By 1950, it was estimated that only 1% of the fertilizer used in the United States was derived from compost.
One notable exception to this trend has been the work begun by J.I. Rodale in 1942, and is a recognized pioneer in developing the organic method of farming. Rodale was among the first to notice the dangers of relying on synthetic fertilizers and the benefits of using compost derived from natural sources. Compost got a short-term boost during the environmentally conscious era of the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became highly profitable. This progress was not the result of renewed awareness of the positive aspects of composting, but rather a growing concern about the negative aspects of rejection.
In short (slogan), in our efforts to get rid of our waste, we’ve been polluting our air, poisoning our rivers, and burying ourselves with our landfills.
In order to divert some municipal waste from landfills, many cities set up recycling centers in the early 1970s where people could bring in cans, bottles, and newspapers instead of throwing them in the trash. This was followed by curbside recycling, where people could place these recyclables in separate containers for pickup in front of their homes. Finally, many cities have added additional adjacent containers for compostable yard waste. By 1992, nearly 1,500 cities had yard waste composting facilities. Meanwhile, strict new environmental laws dictated that industries could no longer simply dump their waste onto surrounding land or drain it into nearby rivers. To meet these laws, many industries have started recycling and composting programs. Environmental concerns also affected farmers, who were blamed for the negative health effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on humans and wildlife. As a result, many farmers have decided to cut back or eliminate chemicals in favor of using compost.
Today, most compost production is processed in large facilities designed to handle a specific type of raw material. Agricultural fertilizers are usually produced and used on the same farm that produced the raw materials. Manufactured compost may be packaged and sold to individual buyers, or raw materials may be sold in bulk to other composting facilities (compost plants). Compost is usually produced at facilities run by the city or a waste recycling company, and sold to agricultural companies, landscaping companies, and individuals.