A well-taken care of worm bin can evade even the most sensitive, persistent noses.
Elle_AnnA well-taken care of worm bin can evade even the most sensitive, persistent noses.

As Tom Philpott wrote in the introductory essay to Grist’s Feeding the City series, urban agriculture took a huge hit once combustible-fuel machines replaced horses — and horse manure — as the vehicle of choice in cities. Farms need fertilizer, and it’s more efficient to grow where the sources of it live and poop.

However, every day city dwellers throw away huge amounts of organic matter that could be turned into that precious material — through composting. Yard trimmings and food scraps make up 26 percent of U.S. waste, and once this organic matter hits the landfill, it breaks down slowly due to lack of air: your farmers-market tomato can produce methane, a deadly greenhouse gas, in a not-so-green afterlife.