Composting at Home
- It reduces greenhouse gases. Food waste in landfills rots very slowly and releases methane, a strong greenhouse gas. By reducing the amount of food you waste and composting, you are helping our air quality and conserving valuable landfill space.
- It gives your plants more nutrients. Adding compost to your soil will encourage the production of bacteria and fungi, which naturally increases the nutrient content in your soil.
- It saves money. Composted soil retains more water and reduces plant diseases and pests, which saves money on chemicals, fertilizers, and watering. It also cuts costs associated with trash hauling, for you and your municipality.
How to Compost
- Choose your design. There are a wide variety of design options. You can purchase a compost bin or tumbler or even build one yourself.
- Choose your location. Choose a spot that can be easily reached, has plenty of space, and away from perennial plants.
- Start composting. Simply start adding your food scraps and yard waste. “Green” materials provide nitrogen and “brown” materials provide carbon. For every one part “green” materials add two parts “brown” materials.
Green Materials (1 part)
Vegetable and fruit scraps
Coffee grounds and tea bags
Animal manure (from plant eaters)
Brown Materials (2 parts)
Newspaper and cardboard
Untreated wood products, saw dust, and branches
Straw and hay
Bread, rice, and pasta
Meat and bones
Animal manure (from meat eaters)
Diseased plants, weed seeds
Fish and seafood
Grease, oil, and fat
- Maintain your compost. Your compost needs water, oxygen and heat. “Green materials” provide water and rain or hose water can be added when needed. Turning your compost adds oxygen. Heat comes naturally with the proper mix of ingredients and a larger pile.
- Use your compost. Your compost is ready to use when it has a uniform black color, a clean smell, and no identifiable pieces. Turn it into the soil of your garden, add to potting soil, or use in the bottom of a transplant site.
View the Know Waste Webinar about backyard composting and vermicomposting: