Economic Incentives for Organics Diversion and Markets for Finished Compost Products in the United States

Organic waste represents a challenge, since it constitutes around 30-50% of the municipal solid waste (MSW). Thus, the proper management of organic wastes will drastically reduce the volume of pollution arising from improper waste management (Treadwell et al., 2018). In 2018, Americans only composted 8.5% of the municipal solid waste generated, which means that the majority of the compostable waste was landfilled or incinerated. These processes are generally detrimental to environmental health because they pollute the air and water sources (Ayilara et al., 2020). Alternatives, such as aerobic composting and anaerobic digestion, tend to be safe methods to manage organic waste, which generate valuable products. The main problem is that composting and anaerobic digestion compete in the market with landfilling, chemical fertilizers, and direct application on the soil.


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