Approximately 30% of residential waste going to our landfills is made up of kitchen and yard waste. In fact, in areas where there is no user pay garbage program in place, the organic materials account for as much as 63% of the waste system. We can divert this waste from entering landfills by using composters to return the nutrients back to the earth through the process of composting. Composting can be done at home to reduce your personal volume of trash, conserve water, increase plant growth, and replace the need for harsh chemicals.
What to compost
Types of Containers
No Fuss Composting Recipe
WHAT TO COMPOST
Carbon-rich brown materials such as:
DO NOT ADD
This system is used to compost small amounts of
yard and kitchen wastes in a short
period of time. Compost materials are simply tossed in and the barrel given a spin to mix it
up. The unit will cost $80-125 and construction requires basic carpentry skills
and tools. Instructions here.
1. Place your container in a level spot on the earth where there is good water drainage.
2. Add organic materials:
3. Keep the pile moist but not dripping wet. Use a cover to keep the pile from becoming too wet from rainfall. If it does get too wet, turn and loosen it or add more dry materials such as leaves. If it gets too dry, water it with a watering can or hose.
4. Provide air to the pile by turning it with a pitchfork or shovel, by using an aerating tool, or by placing an air stack in the center of the pile. (Note: Specific instructions may accompany commercial bins.)
How long will it take?
Anywhere from two months, if you follow all the tips outlined here, to two years, if you opt for the No-Fuss Composting Recipe.
Can you compost in winter?
Yes. Continue to add materials throughout the winter. The decomposition process will slow down, but the pile will become active again in the spring.
Will it smell?
A compost pile that is working well should not have an unpleasant odour. If it does, it may be that the materials are too wet or compacted. Turn the pile to let it dry out, or add dry materials such as leaves.
What is vermicomposting?
Vermicomposting is a method of composting food waste using worms. It can be done indoors year- around, or outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. If you live in an apartment, or you're tired of making trips to the backyard in the snow, this is a method to consider. For more information, go here.