Commercial compost in California has caused the loss of a hand-full of crops including; tomatoes, peas, sunflowers, vegetables and daisies. The culprit? Herbicides in the compost. But the herbicides may be the least of your worries. With the continual push to divert materials from landfills and instead utilize commercial composting, your compost is now likely to contain pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, prescription drugs, as well as a slew of other toxins and pathogens – all of which could put you at risk.
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I personally have noticed a drastic change in the look and quality of “compost” and “potting soil” that I buy compared to 30 years ago. It used to be that the compost was a rich dark color soil, slightly moist and no recognizable fragments. Now what they sell is a light colored, dry material full of wood particles. It looks more like slightly processed mulch than soil. The material does not retain water and my potted plants have a very limited life cycle. This article points out some of the reasons why….
However, with all the contamination issues – Why does the industry continue to try and move more materials into the “compostable” zone? (i.e. plastics, paper, etc)