Tag Archives: waste recycling

Compost, Trump and Concrete

A fundamental component of reversing climate change is to recycle a wide range of urban wastes to farm land,


Less concrete, more compost, less mineral fertiliser

A serious problem with populist utterances (of which Donald Trump is the best example, maybe ever) is that they tend to over-simplify answers to complex problems.  I refer specifically to climate change. What Trump does is appeal to the masses about protection of jobs and, in the short run, he may have a point, especially if he chooses to ignore the jobs being created in renewable energy. (In the USA, there are now more jobs in solar than in coal production.)  If Mr Trump and others want a quick fix for climate change, recycling waste to farm and forestry land and locking up the Carbon as organic matter would be a good start. If the UK Environment Agency could also revert to previous regulation on composting which would allow a farm to start composting without spending £ hundreds of thousands on concrete, that would help the environment, too. (Concrete takes a lot of energy to manufacture and put in place and with good practice, concrete is not actually necessary for large scale composting.  However, it will allow faster work with heavier equipment and a wider range of input materials.)

For more on “Only farmers can do this”, see “Survival”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 5th December 2018

Rainfall down 46%

Suffolk now. Just wait.

The latest UK government climate change predictions, UKCP18, found British summer temperatures could be 5.4°C higher by 2070 while average rainfall is expected to fall by 47% over the same period. Sea level rise is likely to be around 1.15m in the Thames Estuary by 2100.

Recycling most urban wastes to farm land, reducing the use of manufactured fertilisers, particularly Nitrogen (manufacture has s very high energy cost) can raise yields, reduces irrigation need, reduce crop disease and lock up Carbon.  And the green leaf takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us Oxygen back! Only farming can do this.  Far from being difficult with regulation, our children will not forgive us if we do not actively promote and enable this.  No just nice words, real action to enable is necessary.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd  30 November 2018

P.S.  Also see “Reversing Global Warming for Profit”, published by MX Publishing.

Only farmers can do this

This Suffolk soil needed irrigation until large amounts of “urban” composts were added. See this website and go to “Articles”and click on No 6.

While attention is often focused on carbon locked up in trees, in fact, most of this carbon lies in the soil. Below ground Carbon includes an array of sources such as the root systems of trees and soil organic matter. Scientists estimate that by managing the world’s land more sustainably, such as by protecting forests and investing in reforestation, we could achieve up to 37 percent of emissions reductions necessary to limit the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030.  So, inescapably, recycle urban organic Carbon wastes to farm land by composting.

Only farmers can do this.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 October 8

Reversing global warming

Only farmers can deliver this.

Only farmers can deliver the following.  According to World Bank figures, the global production of urban waste is above 2 billion tonnes and rising. My own experience of composting urban wastes suggests that, technically (if the regulators could come to terms with this) maybe 25% of that could be composted and put to farm land, and possibly more if put to forestry land. If the compost contained only 2% of each of N, P and K, then that would be 10 million tonnes of each.  One tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern USA factory, takes 21,000 kWh to make and deliver.  So, or the N alone, that would save the use of 210,000,000 kWh of electrical power generation, most of which comes from burning coal and oil.  Bearing in mind most N production in the world is several times less efficient than in the USA, and that the rest of the figures err on the side of caution, then recycling urban waste by composting to land would save probably around 1 trillion KWh pa and the associated Carbon dioxide production.  As a rough guide, that would save 350,000,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide being pumped into out atmosphere, every year.

There is a bonus, crops grown on high organic Carbon soils need less irrigation and less crop protection sprays.  Cereal crop lodge (fall flat) less. Crops yield a little more. What we need is active, controlled enabling, not ever-increasing suppression and indifference form government.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 18 October 18


The beginning of the end

It is not impossible to turn global warming upside down.


The New Scientist this week comments on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that we have 12 years to save the planet. Interestingly, while pointing out that the evidence is overwhelming that the rise in global warming is human-made and really dangerous and already producing problems, they also argue that the evidence is that we can do something about it.

What this blog is sometimes about is that composting urban waste globally could make a real contribution to limiting and even reversing by locking up Carbon in organic matter and by reducing and eliminating the manufacture of Nitrogen fertilisers (which, according to UN-sponsored research takes 21,000 kWh to make one tonne of N nutrient – and that is in a modern and efficient USA factory).

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 16 October 18

Winds will get stronger

We know that burning aviation fuel advances global warming by producing GHG (Green House Gas), BUT, it also delivers what is called “global dimming” because the ice crystals which allow us to see jet contrails also reflect sun radiation back into space. Complexity yields uncertainty.

The global weather system is complex and how it will change with respect to the global warming that we all (except, apparently, Mr Trump) know is happening is difficult to predict in detail and fast enough. One of the problems with that is that by the time we are sure of something, it may be too late to do much about it. The evidence so far does not suggest that climate change causes hurricanes. However, it’s becoming more and more clear that a warming climate leads to more devastating hurricanes.

As far as UK farming is concerned, the implication is that winds generally will get stronger and storm winds will do more damage to crops. Wind breaks and stronger cereal straw are still likely to be part of the defence strategy.  Wind turbines may be a better investment, too.


Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 3 October 18

The Soil Rumen and Ion Exchange

The soil is much as the cow’s rumen. It is not the cow that digests the food, it is the rumen micro-organisms. then the micro-organisms feed the cow.

Think of the soil much as a cow’s rumen. Click on the blue band above here on “articles” and go to no 16 and click.

or try https://landresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/the-soil-rumen-and-ion-exchange1.pdf