Benefits of using Recycled Organics

Environmental:

  • Recycled organic products are made from garden organic material collected from a range of sources including household green waste bins and commercial landscaping operations. Recycling these waste products means that a large chunk of material is diverted from landfill. In Western Australia alone, 178,563 tonnes of garden organic material was diverted from the waste stream in 2008 and recycled1.

1 Recycled Organics Unit (2008). Organics Recycling in Australia: Industry Statistics 2008. Report prepared for Compost Australia by the Recycled Organics Unit. Internet publication www.compostaustralia.com 

Water efficiency:

  • The water efficiency of your next landscaping project will be improved by the application of any RO product. Using compost mulch will help to prevent water from evaporating out of your soil, while the application of compost and soil conditioners will improve the structure of your soil and increase its water holding capacity.
     
  • Compost mulch also insulates the soil against fluctuating temperatures and as a result plants root systems are less stressed by changing conditions and are more drought tolerant.

Sustainable landscape benefits:

  • Aside from diverting waste from landfill, using RO products can be a great substitute for some less sustainable landscaping practices. Organic soil or soils blended with compost soil conditioners can be used as replacement soil in landscaping situations where no topsoil is available or it is of very poor quality.
     
  • Using RO products to replace topsoil reduces the need for harvesting of natural soils from river beds, flood plains or other environmentally sensitive areas. Using RO also returns organic carbon to the soil where it can be stored - this is vital for combating the challenges of climate change.
     
  • Compost mulch may also be a more sustainable option than using wood chips or other by-products of the forestry industry. Using RO products as a component of potting mixes is also more sustainable than using peat which is mined from sensitive peat bogs and wetland areas.

Low maintenance landscaping

  • Recycled organic (RO) products like compost mulch can do a lot of the landscape maintenance work for you.
     
  • Compost mulch can reduce the need and/or frequency of irrigation which can save significant time and money, particularly if manual watering of landscaped areas is needed.
     
  • Weed and disease control is another important feature of RO products. Compost mulch can prevent weed growth, reducing the amount of herbicide (and labour) needed to maintain landscaped areas. RO products also naturally contain bacteria that can help fight off plant diseases.
     
  • RO products improve soil structure and nutrition over time, meaning that less fertiliser may be needed to maintain healthy plant growth. These benefits can continue over several years and as a result, save considerable amounts of money.
     
  • Compost mulch can last longer in your landscape than raw mulch which in some cases may need to be replaced each year.