Composting is a way to help reduce the amount of waste materials going to our landfill. Composting also produces a free soil conditioner which improves soil quality and helps plants flourish.
Anyone can compost. Composting is no longer an option just for homeowners. Office buildings, businesses and apartment or condo dwellers now have a way to recycle food materials through "vermicomposting" or worm composting.
To assist with your composting and find the method that is best for you, here is "how to" information with tips for beginners and composting veterans alike.Composting is a natural process that breaks down kitchen, lawn and garden materials into a dark, earthy, soil-like material called "compost." This end-product is an excellent soil conditioner for plants, gardens and lawns.
What do you need for composting??The basic elements needed for composting are:
Materials to compost
All organic (compostable) material contain a mixture of carbon and nitrogen, this is know as the carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio. For best results your compost pile requires a balance of carbon and nitrogen, with the optimum being 30:1.
Items containing carbon are generally brown in colour, such as autumn leaves or straw. Items containing nitrogen are generally green in colour, such as kitchen scraps and green grass clippings.
A rule of thumb is to have roughly equal amounts of browns (carbon) and greens (nitrogen). This is known as the 50/50 rule and will balance the carbon:nitrogen ratio at the proper level.
The following is a list of some of the different green and brown materials that can be composted. It is not a complete list. Other materials may be added.
Materials to avoid
Even though you can put most of your organic materials in your composter, a few materials should be avoided since they cause problems such as odours and pest attraction.
Do Not Compost ...
Materials will be generated in two main areas of the household: the kitchen and the yard.
The simplest way to collect kitchen materials is to use some sort of container. Two or four litre plastic ice cream containers work well. The container can be kept in such places as on the cupboard or under the sink. As you produce material, put it in the container and when it is full it can be taken out and added to the compost pile. The container should have a lid, which will help eliminate odours but is not necessary.
Yard materials can be added to the compost as they are produced, provided there are not excessive quantities. If you are getting large volumes of a certain material at one time, such as grass or leaves, store it and add the material a little at a time.
HELPFUL HINT: Chop materials up before you put them into the composter. The smaller the material is, the more surface area is exposed, and the faster it will decompose.
Leaves are very compostable, but they are accumulated in a short span of time and usually in great numbers. If you have too many fall leaves to fit into your composter, here are a few suggestions:
HELPFUL HINT: Leaves will lose over 3/4 of their volume when they are composted. What looks like a large pile of fallen leaves will be a small pile of composted material.
Grass clippings are another item that can be generated in large quantities and may be difficult to handle in your composter. The trick with grass clippings is not to add too many at once since they tend to mat together and smell. Instead, put in limited quantities of green grass. Mix grass clippings into your compost or add some brown material with it.
HELPFUL HINT: If you let your clippings dry out in the sun, they will become a carbon source and can be used to mix with fresh clippings.
Main Tel : 01429 838 433