Scientists Find Recipe for Greener Garden Waste Disposal


Adding manure and crop leftovers to leaves and clippings helps earthworms digest them—and speeds up composting by 80 per cent, researchers find.

Scientists have developed a recipe that addresses a growing need for sustainable disposal of urban garden waste in China and could also be useful in North America. In Beijing, where the research was based, more than 2.3 million tonnes of leaves and clippings from trees, grass and bushes are shipped annually to landfills or burned, which takes an environmental toll, said U of A soil scientist and study co-author Scott Chang.

“While garden waste itself isn’t a form of pollution, different ways of dealing with it have implications,” he explained. The formula uses cattle manure and crop leftovers like straw and wheat bran used to grow mushrooms—a diet staple in China.

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