Developed by Fabricio Chicca from Victoria University the Compost Carbon Calculator has been purpose built to help community gardeners calculate their emissions mitigation potential through the process of composting.
As you can see in the model below simply enter the waste processed by your compost operation at any given time and it will calculate the potential greenhouse gas emission mitigation that would have otherwise occurred if that waste went to the landfill. It also provides the Nitrogen and Phosphorus fertiliser equivalent produced in the act of that composting process. To improve the accuracy of the model one can enter the vehicle travel involved in bringing in raw materials (most gardens have to import their carbon) and the type of vehicle.
As you can see in the model a number of different calculation models are used to form a maximum, minimum and average value. These calculations are derived from models that are well accepted in the field of carbon sequestration.
Please note that most healthy aerobic compost piles emit little or no methane but it is impossible to determine without instruments and/or sensors. As such we can only say that the savings calculated are potential savings on the assumption that no methane is lost in the process.
As such it’s best to consider this tool as an indicator only at this stage. Further research work in this area is planned by the Fabricio and his team.
You can use the data derived from the calculations above as a measure in your own impact framework.
- William E. Eleazer, William S. Odle, Yu-Sheng Wang, and Morton A. Barlaz, Biodegradability of Municipal Solid Waste Components in Laboratory-Scale Landfills, Environmental Science & Technology 1997 31 (3), 911-917, DOI: 10.1021/es9606788
- Sally Brown, Ned Beecher. (2019) Carbon Accounting for Compost Use in Urban Areas. Compost Science & Utilization 27:4, pages 227-239.
- Wei Zheng, Khamphe Phoungthong, Fan Lü, Li-Ming Shao, Pin-Jing He,Evaluation of a classification method for biodegradable solid wastes using anaerobic degradation parameters, Waste Management,Volume 33, Issue 12, 2013.