How to Compost at Home


How to Compost at Home

Why not take the next step in the right direction to eliminating waste and improving soil by composting?

Chances are you recycle whenever you can and remember to bring your own bags to the grocery store most days. Well, why not take the next step in the right direction to eliminating waste by composting?

Composting keeps organic material out of the landfills so it can do great things, such as helping to improve soil quality, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers, and even reducing greenhouse gases. Rather than simply lowering your carbon footprint, composting can actually help you make the land better than it was originally—now that’s environmentally friendly!

It just so happens that this week (May 7 to 12) is International Composting Week. So hop on board and learn how to compost!

Types of at-home composting
Regardless of whether you live on a farm or in a high rise, you can compost.

Green waste pickup
Not all municipalities pick up organics, but it is becoming more popular. With this method, composting is simple—you just place food scraps and organic waste (as defined by your municipality) in a designated container, and the city picks it up from outside your house according to a predetermined schedule. It’s really no different than throwing things in the trash and bringing it out for curbside pickup.

DIY compost
For an easy, step-by-step composting guide, check out our article “Passionate about Compost.”

And keep in mind that even if you don’t have a yard, you can easily buy a small container for compost that you can keep on your balcony or even in your kitchen. And no worries if you don’t have a lawn or garden—you can use the finished product in your potted vegetables, herbs, or flowers, or in a community garden.

Another option if you’re an apartment-dweller is worm composting; the worms quickly turn organic waste into rich, nutrient-dense soil, and don’t worry—they don’t leave their container, as they want to stay close to a good food supply, and there’s no odour.

The dos and don’ts of composting
If you have a pickup service, check with your municipality’s specifications to be sure, but generally, follow these rules for what you can add to your compost, and what to leave out.

DO add:

  • veggie and fruit peels and cores
  • lawn clippings
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • egg shells
  • vegetable oil
  • sawdust, straw, and hay
  • pasta, bread, and rice

DON’T add:

  • bones, fat, and meat scraps
  • dairy
  • plastic, glass, or metal
  • weeds that have gone to seed or that have persistent root systems
  • pet droppings
  • anything treated with chemicals
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