- Each American has 1200 pounds of compostable organic waste annually
- Fills Landfills
- Processes of Natural decay lead to the production of methane
- Making and using your own compost- frees you of petroleum derived synthetic fertilzers
- It takes about 2.5 gallons of gasoline to produce 140 pound bag of fertilizer
- Saves Water- Compost helps to retail moisture, reduce evaporation and prevents water run-off
What to Compost:
- Lawn and yard clippings that are pesticide free
- Food leftovers, eggshells,
- Paper products, including cardboard rolls, tissues, paper towels, coffee filters,
- Pet Fur
- Wood Ash in small amounts
What not to compost
- Animal or meat by-products
- Dairy, grease, lard, oils, fish waster
- Pet Waste
What You Need
- You don’t actually need a designated bin if you want to make compost; a well-tended, simple pile in your backyard will be sufficient.
- If that is not possible indoor and outdoor compost bins conceal waste piles odors they may emit and keep animals from rummaging through your food scraps.
- Compost bin may be kept clean with compostable, starch-based liners
Before you buy, determine what you’ll be composting- food scraps only or lawn and garden clippings as well. The more you compost, the larger the composter should be. Composting leaves and lawn clippings, (3 cubic feet, which will give you enough finished compost to cover 324 sq. ft. with 1 inch)
The most common material for composters and compost bins is plastic. Therefore, look for the highest percentage of recycled content you can find. Avoid those made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which releases carcinogenic dioxin into the atmosphere when it’s manufactured and incinerated.
Ceramic compost pots blend in nicely with your personal decor if you need a small container to gather compostable materials indoors.
- Keep a healthy nutrient balance and avoid odors by blending a 2-to-1 ratio of carbon-rich “brown” items such as leaves, twigs and bark with nitrogen-rich “green” items like grass clippings and food wastes.
- Keep slightly moist, and
- Keep aerated with rotating compost bins or manually turning about every 2 days. The more frequently the pile is turned the more rapidly materials will decompose
- Mix your native soil from your yard or garden into the mix is essential for introducing native organisms.
- Compost is “finished” before application, (dark in color, and smell earthy)
- Leave unused compost in the pile.
- To determine how much compost is needed for lawns and garden beds, multiply the square footage of the area to be treated by the thickness that will be applied.
- A 3- to 4-inch layer of finished compost can be worked into the tops of garden soil before planting in spring or late fall, or a handful can be transplanted into the hole before planting annuals and perennials.
- A half-inch of compost can also be applied as a top dressing to lawns in the spring and fall and for shrubs and garden plants several times a year.
- For a flower bed containing existing perennials, estimate the area that those plants occupy when determining how much compost is needed. If half the area is already covered with plants, you’ll need half as much compost.
- Mix one part finished compost with two parts soil for a nutritious potting mix for houseplants. When planting seeds, use less compost and more soil to allow roots to take hold firmly.
Resources: EPA- Compost