By Mythbusters Rachel Tholl and Kyle Reed
Who are the Recycling Mythbusters?
We are Kyle “Reedcycler” Reed, Amanda “Jill of All Trades” Abbott and Rachel “Waste Watcher” Tholl. This term we will be introducing you to some recycling-based myths, and busting them so you don’t have to.
Together we are the Recycling Mythbusters.
We don’t just tell the myths, we put them to rest.
Myth: If something is biodegradable, it is also compostable.
When something is called biodegradable, it means that it will break down into smaller parts after being disposed of. However, being biodegradable does not mean that it is also compostable. The largest reason for this is that while a biodegradable item may break down into smaller bits, these components may not be able to provide any nutrients when used as compost.
Compost made at the PRC is sold to local businesses, farmers, gardeners, and landscapers around Corvallis and the surrounding areas.
Compostable items sent to the PRC include: food waste (such as apple cores, banana peels, orange rinds, etc.), paper towels and napkins, tea bags and coffee grounds, 100% paper plates, and compostable servingware. Although plenty of products are sold as biodegradable, plant-based, or bio-based, these are not necessarily compostable, and only servingware specifically labelled as compostable should be put into a compost or yard debris bin.
If you are the owner of your own compost, or are using a department composting worm bin, you’d best leave out large items like compostable servingware, as they will take much longer to break down than food waste or fibrous paper.
If you’d like to learn more about composting on campus, click here.
This post is part of our “Recycling Mythbusters” blog series, where we focus on busting common misconceptions about recycling. Tune in every week to learn more.