A Guide to Composting
Benefits of Composting:
- Reduces how much you're throwing in the garbage, which means less waste filling landfills!
- Keeps trash from smelling
- Use it to feed your garden or potted plants.
What You Can Compost:
- Carbon-rich matter: branches, stems, dried leaves, peels, bits of wood, bark dust or saw dust pellets, shredded brown paper bags, corn stalks, coffee filters, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit, vegetable peels, straw, peat moss, wood ash
- Nitrogen or protein-rich matter: manures, food scraps, green lawn clippings, kitchen waste, and green leaves
Types of Composting
This is also known as vermicomposting, and is a great option for beginners. You will need to use redworms, which can be purchased online or at a garden supplier. You can create your own vermicompost bin with a plastic storage container, the size can be determined by where you will be storing the bin and how much scraps you anticipate to process each week. This should be stored in a cool, dark place. Drill a few ventilation holes on the cover and upper sides of the bin. Start with a base of organic bedding such as shredded newspaper or leave. Mix in soil and get it damp, then add worms and your food scraps! For more info, click here.
Outdoor Compost Bin
You can use a spare trash can, or you can build your own with welded wire mesh, concrete blocks, or wooden pallets. If you're using a trash bin, be sure to drill holes in it for ventilation. With an outdoor compost bin, you can also throw in dry leaves, wood bark chips, and grass/plant chips while tending to your yard. Water and stir your pile thoroughly. To learn more, click here.
Indoor Compost Bin
You can hide an indoor compost bin in your own kitchen. Drill holes in the bottom of a metal container with a lid, and place the container into a shallow tray with sides. Put a base layer of dirt, add your food scraps, and top with damp newspaper shreds (this will also help control the smell)! Keep covered and stir every week. For more details, click here.
If you aren't interested in making your own compost bin or don't have the space for it, you can check to see if your community has it's own group composting area. Collect food waste throughout the week and drop it off at your community composting area. Tip: your compost is ready when it is no longer giving heat and has become brown, dry and crumbly.
You can find more in-depth information regarding composting here.