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In a nutshell, compost is decomposed organic matter. Composting is a natural process of recycling organic material, such as leaves and vegetable scraps, into a rich soil amendment.

According to the International Soil Conservation Organization, 65% of the world’s soil is degraded. Composting can help reverse that trend. Composting is a good way to get rid of items that would otherwise end up in landfills, including coffee grounds, tea bags, stale cereal, saltine crackers, nut shells, wet paper towels and expired herbs and spices.

Composting can clean the soil and prevent pollution, according to the EPA. Not only does composting help regenerate poor soil, but it can also prevent erosion and degrade chemicals and preservatives present in wood and soil. Composting reduces the need for fertilizers, as the compost itself is rich in nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive.

If Venetucci can implement a community wide composting program, a private-public partnership with non-profits like Colorado Springs Food Rescue, various local universities like UCCS, PPCC, CC and USAFA and local waste management companies to facilitate the pick-ups, Venetucci can run a large-scale composting operation that not only involves the larger community, but has an impact that has wider ramifications. Venetucci Farm could even open up the composting space for individual families to come and utilize the space at allocated times throughout the week, so they see where their scraps are going and the process by which it becomes soil once again.

Composting will need a substantial upfront cost, but after that it can soon become self-sustaining. “Raw materials” are essentially free, especially if partner agencies pay a nominal cost to participate in the program. At the end, the “finished product”, which is either soil or compost, can be sold back to various garden centers, vendors and the public at a competitive price. El Paso county has only one commercial compost facility, so the compost program would be a great and welcome addition.

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