Reducing Landfill Part 2 – Composting

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The second part in Reducing Landfills is composting. Composting is a combination of organic matter that breaks down into useable fertilizer and soil. In the United States about a quarter of the methane emissions are due to organic waste rotting in landfills. Some of the things you use to throw away, you can now put to use making soil for your garden or window flower pots. It’s a very simple and satisfying process that turns your trash in to green waste.

Why Should You Compost?

  • About 2/3of the average garbage can, can be composted
  • Lightens your garbage
  • Reduces the smell of your garbage
  • Less is sent to landfills
  • Composting makes healthy soil that can improve your garden

How to Compost?

Start by saving cardboard and paper. This includes: cereal boxes, paper towel and toilet-paper rolls, shredded cardboard, dried leaves, paper, and other pieces of that sort. These will be called your “browns”. Now for the good stuff, your greens. The greens include fresh uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings, grass clippings, green leaves. Combine half browns and half greens in a compost container. This container can be made out of plastic or wood. Place it somewhere where you can easily access it. Putting it in the sun will help speed up the process. Make sure that your container has some sort of drainage like placing it on soil. Repeat this process every time you mow the lawn. Keep the compost bin moist by watering it when it starts looking dry. Stir up the contents occasionally and you should have ready to use soil in about 3-6 months. The point of composting is to make an environment for the bacteria, fungi and other creatures that help with the decomposition process. Even if you just thrown everything into your container and leave it, it will eventually turn into a dark crumbly substance that can be used to enhance your soil.

What not to put in the Compost?

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Cooked food, meat, fish, chesses fast, or grease
  • Animal feces
  • Roots of weeds like dandelions

Once your soil is ready to be used water your plants and then sprinkle it on top of your container plants, hanging baskets, or window boxes. If you are using it in your own backyard garden the steps are the same, make sure the plants are watered and give them your rich soil. Check out this great video on Composting for visual details.

 

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