By DAPHNE OKUYMA, age 10

Kids learning how to compost at the Sustainable Flatbush Garden in Brooklyn. PHOTO: Jocelyn Cohen at Sustainable Flatbush
Kids learning how to compost at the Sustainable Flatbush Garden in Brooklyn. PHOTO: Jocelyn Cohen at Sustainable Flatbush

Counties and cities around the world have started to use composting as a way to recycle organic trash and reduce the amount of landfills and pollution. Cities spend hundreds of millions of dollars transporting trash to landfills, which also burns fuel and contributes to global warming. Compost is made out of organic trash, or waste, such as rotten leaves, leftover fruits, vegetables and other foods. It recycles organic materials into fertilizer for plants and vegetables.

South Korea uses a system for the effective collection of garbage waste and the reuse of natural resources. Garbage must be separated according to “common garbage,” food waste, recyclables, and large waste objects, or the resident will be fined.

In Canada, millions have access to curbside organic waste collection. Residents are expected to sort their kitchen waste and place it in the appropriate bins for collection. New York City started a composting residential pilot program in 2013, with workshops for individuals and NYC schools, such as worm composting.

Some people are not excited about composting. For example, in June 2013, some Bronx residents complained about the smell of the composting site in the park. It can also be difficult to remember to separate organic waste from regular trash.

But in Portland, OR, which has had a composting program for two years now, residents report that they got used to the downsides. “It’s empowering to make less trash, and it doesn’t smell bad anymore, because our food scraps are going out more often,” Portland resident Kendra Yao told Oregon Public Radio.

Organic – material that comes from living matter, like fruits, vegetables, egg shells and unbleached paper.

Worm composting – worms to help turn the organic material into compost for fertilizer by eating the waste and passing it through their bodies.