Composting is a biological process that occurs when naturally occurring microorganisms, bacteria, and insects break down organic materials like grass clippings, leaves, and certain kitchen scraps, turning them into a material called compost.
Composting is a recycling method, as the materials it requires are saved from the garbage disposal and are made useful instead. By refraining from placing these materials in your garbage, you can reduce trash production by up to 25%, which helps conserve valuable landfill space and reduce air emissions from the incineration plants that burn garbage.
Rather than simply disposing of compostable materials, creating compost with them allows you to return organic matter and much-needed nutrients to the soil in a form that plants can use for enhanced growth. Compost helps break down heavy clay soils into a better texture and adds essential nutrients to them, both of which improve the health of plants.
If you have a lawn, a garden, shrubs, or planter boxes, these are all perfect places to make use of compost. In fact, just a few inches of it will feed and protect your plants for an entire season.
Fortunately, composting is not an overly complicated process. However, there are a few essential factors that you must consider to ensure proper composting. The following are some of the necessary steps to turn kitchen waste into usable compost for your plants:
One of the first and most important steps in the composting process is selecting the right materials to include in the compost. Of course, any kind of organic material will compost, but that does not necessarily mean it all belongs in a compost pile.
Some of the items that you can and should compost include fruit and vegetable scraps; egg, peanut, and nut shells; stalks, stems, and vines; and coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags. Yard trimmings, such as leaves, grass clippings, prunings, and garden debris, are also all great additions to compost.
On the other hand, you should avoid adding certain items to your composter, such as meat, bones, or other animal products, fish products, dairy items, animal waste, and any kinds of greases or oils.
The main reasons to avoid adding these items to your compost are that they either break down too slowly, create very bad odours, or attract pests. They can also slow down the decomposition of other products and create an imbalance in your compost.
After you have a good idea of what will go in your compost pile, you should decide where to put it in your yard or garden. Although it is not too crucial whether the pile receives sun or is in the shade, choosing a spot that gets a bit of both is typically best. Most importantly, make sure that the location you choose for your compost pile is convenient to access.
The following are a few different approaches that you can take to prepare a compost site:
No enclosure: If you do not want your compost pile to be enclosed, you can simply pile your compostable materials up in a relatively dense heap.
Building a compost bin: Using a bin for your compost may have a neater appearance and will keep pests like rodents away from your compost while holding in heat and moisture to help the composting process.
To build such a bin yourself, try using wooden stakes and chicken wire or hardware cloth to form a simple, round enclosure. You could also place cinder blocks on top of each other to create a three-sided enclosure with the front open, or you could just drill holes in the sides and bottom of a garbage can.
Purchasing a compost bin: It is possible to buy a compost bin from most garden centers or home improvement and hardware stores. You may also want to contact your local recycling coordinator to see if they have a bin distribution program.
To optimize the rate of decomposition for the items in your compost pile, cut or shred them into small pieces first. When you start to build your compost pile, place a layer of a coarser material like wood chips or small twigs on the bottom to help with drainage and aeration.
After that, add layers of materials that are 2-6 inches thick, alternating between “green” materials, such as food scraps and grass clippings, and “brown” materials, such as leaves, straw, and woody items.
Make sure you add water to your compost pile and mix it up well after every two layers that you add. Whenever you place food scraps, try to bury them totally in the center of the pile, and throw a shovelful of garden soil into your heap every so often. Try not to let the pile get bigger than 3 feet in height and width.
Compost could take anywhere from a few weeks to two years to be ready for use, depending on various factors. However, you can tell it is ready when it has cooled, turned a rich brown colour, and decomposed into soil-like particles.
About a month prior to planting, apply 1-3 inches of your compost to the top 4 inches of soil. Alternatively, you can use your compost as a top dressing in your garden or screen it through a ½-inch sieve and combine it with sand and loam to use it as potting soil.
As mentioned earlier, there are certain materials that should go into your compost pile and others that should not. Those that you should not add to your compost pile still need a place to go, so if you require bin rental in Pickering, Scarborough Disposal Ltd. can help you with the removal of these items. We have many different garbage bin sizes to choose from, ranging from a small 4-yard bin to a massive 40-yard unit.
We make our bin rental process as easy and streamlined as possible. All you have to do is select the size of the bin that you would like, fill out a simple form online, or give us a call, and we will send it directly to you promptly. No matter what your garbage disposal needs are, we are confident we have a bin that will match them.