Many people think of composting in their homes for use as fertilizer in their garden, but now composting can mean the reuse of food waste and organic matter in many different applications. What is compostable? Food leftovers, kitchen and bathroom tissue, and cups, plate-ware, and utensils that are made from materials that can decompose easily, such as paper or corn-based products. By using more products that can be decomposed and making sure food leftovers get collected for composting, facilities can significantly reduce the amount of waste they produce. Especially when paired with recycling and waste reduction efforts. What happens to the compost when it leaves the building? Compost from multiple buildings are brought to facilities where they can break down, often with the help of adding water and oxygen and turning the mixture while it breaks down. Some facilities add fungi or bacteria to help the chemical process, converting the compost to carbon dioxide, ammonium, and nitrogen, which can be reused for fertilizer or if methane is produced, can be used to produce energy.
The Saint Paul RiverCentre was one of the first complexes of its kind to offer composting for public events. Over 300 tons of material is composted annually from events held on site. The Science Museum of Minnesota also offers composting and collects XX tons annually.