Urban faring is a component of urban agriculture that has the capacity to generate and foster economic development. However, since it is applied in an urban setting, certain land regulations have to be adhered to ensure that the faring does not become unsanitary especially when dealing with waste. Furthermore, land is normally very limited in urban setting. As such, there is need to replenish the soil frequently used for farming. Composting comes in handy in such a situation.
Composting has several benefits in urban farming. According to Walliser (1), compost is very significant in improving the soil structure of the soils used in agriculture. The introduction of compost in the soil increases its capacity to retain and drain water. Increase in urban development results to an increase in compaction of soil and loss of organic matter. Thus, there is control of problems such as water logging. According to Cogger (243), the continued use of compost in soil improvement provides opportunities for high values of compost in the improvement of urban soils. Additionally, composting is economical in the sense that there is easy incorporation of waste from different sources as raw material for making compost. Further, the use of readily available waste from places such as households helps to reduce the need to use fertilizers, which are normally costly. Other significant benefits of using compost are that it helps in the preservation of biodiversity in the soil. The compost provides a good environment for the production of organisms such as bacteria, which are critical in the processing of nutrients. In cases where the composting utilizes labor-intensive approaches, there will be creation of employment in the urban areas and hence an increase in the income level of these poor individuals.
Factors to Consider in City Composting
One of the very important factors to consider in composting involves the economic considerations. Ample organic waste and suitable composition is necessary for the composting venture to be economically viable (Drechsel and Kunze 31). Furthermore, it is important to have a ready market for the compost. Additionally another important aspect of economic consideration relates to the availability of a waste disposal system by the local authority. A waste disposal system will cost a certain amount of money to the users. As such, the composting approach should ensure to have a lower cost approach in order to develop a lager source of organic waste for composting.
Waste separation is also significant in the composting process. Quality composts depend on the quality of the waste used. As such, removal of inorganic substances from waste ensures that the quality of the compost produced is high. Thus, it becomes important for the public to be aware of the importance of waste separation in the process of composting. Waste separation at the source of the organic matter can lower cost of waste separation significantly.
Problem of urban composting
One of the major challenges in urban composting relates to the removal of toxic chemicals. The presence of heavy metals in urban waste is very high. Plants can easily take up high levels of heavy metals in the compost and this poses a health risk to consumers.
Individuals interested in composting need to ensure that they adhere to land and zoning regulations. Additionally, they need to ensure that the quality of waste used in composting is high quality to ensure that chemicals pollutants are minimal, as these prove to be difficult to remove. In the end, composting offers a cheaper option of providing nutrients to the plants.