Composting IS recycling where biodegradable items are recycled back into the soil. In many parts of North America and Europe, organic waste (leaves, grass clippings) is already being composted, preventing millions of tons of organic trash from filling up landfills!
But much more remains.
So, while 50 ~ 60% of leaves and grass clippings are composted, up to 30% of municipal trash is biodegradable: food scraps, wet, non-recyclable paper and cardboard packaging is NOT composted and goes to landfills. This happens for two reasons:
- Too few composting facilities take food scraps and wet paper
- Food scraps and wet paper are contaminated with too much plastic
Public education and political will can quickly solve the first issue, with faster permitting and building of composting centers, and bans on biodegradable waste being sent to landfills. But contamination from plastics makes wide-scale organic recycling very difficult.