Posted by admin on September 21, 2010
It has been estimated that the average American household disposes of more than two hundred pounds of kitchen scrap waste yearly. This is waste that is going into our landfills when it could be enriching our gardens. Composting is a lot easier to achieve than most people realize. If you have an organized system, it will take no more time to compost than it does to trash your scraps.
There are many variations of compost bins available for purchase on the market ranging from simple to extravagant and expensive. You may choose this route, or you may like to build your own. This is a relatively simple task; you must just ensure that your bin or box is covered to keep animals away yet still allows for drainage and aeration. Many install a screen on the bottom of the bin to help with this problem.
Almost all forms of kitchen waste can be easily composted. This will make an inexpensive and yet rich fertilizer for your lawn or garden. There are two categories of commonly used composting items: green nitrogen rich substances and brown carbon rich ones:
Green materials that you can compost are: Herbivore animal manure, coffee grounds and filters, fruit trimmings, peeling remnants and cores, vegetable peelings, leaves and remnants, grains, grass clippings, green leaves, hair and fur, shredded newspaper, tea bags, and houseplants.
Brown Materials to be used for composting are: cardboard rolls that are shredded, clean paper that is shredded, dry leaves, straw, newspaper that is shredded, nut shells, pine needles, sawdust, wood ships, wool rags, vegetable stalks, crushed eggshells, and fireplace ash that is not from coal.
Here are items that you should take care not to add to your compost pile: Anything containing chemicals or that has been chemically treated, bird droppings, bones, cat or dog feces, human waste, ashes from coal, colored paper, dairy products, diseased plants, grease in any form, and treated wood or wood products. These substances can be toxic to both plants and humans
You generally want to try to keep a ratio of brown to green material at 25:1. Carbon materials break down very slowly and will keep your compost pile from completely decomposing and being ready to use. On the other hand, if too many nitrogen substances exist, this can create a bad odor that will also attract animals to your bin.