Earth Action Network
September 12, 2020
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Go "Green" With A Home Compost Bin

Author: Administrator
Going "green" is not the only reason to start your own home compost bin, but for many it makes great sense to use what you have rather than adding it to a landfill. It really doesn't matter where the composting is taking place, in a home composter or a landfill, nature is going to take its course, and the resulting compost will provide benefits there.

If you have ever notice what happens to your yard when you don't bag the grass and leaves you will have a good idea of what happens to that organic matter. When leaves are allowed to accumulate and pile right on top of each other, moisture accumulates and decomposition takes place leaving another layer of soil. The same thing is true of grass clippings that are left behind after mowing the lawn. Eventually your yard will become a little taller than its original height. Organic matter turns back into the earth it came from.

Placing household and yard trash into a home compost bin keeps that waste right where it came from and benefits your soil and adds to your reputation of having a "green thumb." Commercial composting companies are required to maintain a specific ratio of organic matter, but the home gardener does not need to worry over such strict standards.

Here is a list of the most commonly used organics often seen in a home composter:

Vegetable and Fruit Scraps and Leftovers. The majority of vegetable and fruit peels break down rapidly making them favorites for the home compost bin. However, the thick skinned variety like citrus should be avoided if you want it to turn to soil more quickly. These can be added to another home composter if you like for a separate type of compost. If your bin includes worms, you should avoid placing strong flavored items like onions or hot peppers to your home composter, the little guys won't like it. When placing fresh scraps from the kitchen, dig a little deeper and make sure they are covered, otherwise the flies will have a feast.

There are some kitchen wastes you will not want to place in your home compost bin, and those are meats and other fatty items, and sugary or salty scraps. These food items attract animals like rodent because they ferment and putrefy. However, you should add grains, paper coffee filters as well as the grounds, and tea bags to your home composter.

Lawn Clippings

While you should avoid adding any yard matter that has been treated with herbicides, anything else goes. That includes weeds you have removed from your vegetable patch, dead leaves, brush, and grass clippings.

Manure

Manure is a great natural item to add to your garden but should never be added to a worm home composter. And you should only use manure produced from herbivores like cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits, and poultry due to the risk of E. coli.

Paper Products

Cardboard, paper towels, facial tissue, and waste paper all make great items to place in the home compost bin and break down quickly. Just be sure to tear them into hand sized strips and moisten them before placing them into a home composter with worms.

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