Why you should compost

Composting is a natural form of recycling which has environmental and economic advantages. Knowing how to compost will help save our landfills and it is a great source of nutrition for our grass, shrubs, trees, flowers, house plants and even our gardens. It potentially will save you time and money.  To me, that sounds like a win, win situation for everyone.

Save our landfills - Our landfills are quickly filling up.  That means new landfills will have to be built.  Guess whose pocketbook pays for the new landfills.  It's yours and mine.  Somehow we always end up paying. The other problem is when waste decays in a landfill, it has been known to produce high amounts of greenhouse gases.  This is not good for the environment.  On the flip side, when you compost and the waste decays it produces oxygen.  This is much safer for the environment. Did you know that approximately 20%-25% of your total household waste can be composted?  There are so many items we use in our everyday lives that the waste from these products can be composted.  Vegetables and fruits are not only good for you, the remnants are great for your soil.  Other household items such as coffee grounds, biodegradable coffee filters, egg shells, ashes from your fire place and uncontaminated saw dust can also be added to your compost bin. Imagine, if instead of throwing all of these items in the garbage you threw them in your compost bin.   If we all learned how to compost, it would help keep the landfills from filling up and you would be providing nutrition rich organic matter to your lawn.

The kitchen counter is a great place to keep a compost bin. You get in the habit of throwing food waste in the bin instead of the garbage or garbage disposal.
Kitchen Compost Bin: Compost Bucket- Kitchen Design - 2 1/3 gal.

Kitchen Compost Bin: Compost Bucket- Kitchen Design - 2 1/3 gal.

"Our dark green plastic compost kitchen bucket is lightweight and allows you to accumulate kitchen wastes like vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, and tea bags (even wet paper towels) for a daily trip to your compost bin. The bucket measures 10 1/2 in diameter and is 10 1/2 in tall."

Good source of nutrition -The nutritional value your vegetation will reap from composting is endless. Composting helps sandy soil retain water and other nutrients, while it helps loosen/aerate clay soil. The compost attracts good microorganisms and worms which help keep your lawn healthy. For instance, your grass clippings are nitrogen rich. Nitrogen is a key element in growing that healthy and beautiful lawn we all desire. Grass clippings, mulched up leaves and small branches should never leave your property. The only reason you may not want to include these items in your composting bin is if they are weeds or they are diseased vegetation. I personally use my own compost and mix it with the regular soil for the majority of the landscaping that I do (planting grass, trees, shrubs, flowers and my garden).

Saves you Time - If you learn how to compost, instead of bagging up the debris, you throw the waste in your compost bin.  If you have a lawn care professional taking care of your lawn, they would appreciate not having to remove the landscape waste from your property. If you learn how to compost you don't have to drive around and look for the best deal on garden soil, fertilizer, etc.  The materials you need to use will readily be available in your own yard.

Saves you Money - If you learn how to compost, you won't have to buy paper bags for your landscape debris from your local garden center or stickers from your village to haul away the landscape debris.  You will no longer waste gas to bring the debris to the landfill or pay to dispose of the waste in the landfill.  You will also save on your water bill because compost increases the soil's capacity to hold water by up to 50%.  Most importantly, you won't pay $8 for a 40 lb bag of garden soil.  You are basically creating the same material with your household items and your compost bin.  The good news is you are recycling household items.  Talk about good value.  Everyone wants that beautiful lawn.  Composting allows you to attain that beautiful lawn without having to spend a lot of money to get the look you desire.

What should be composted?

  •  Grass clippings
  • Leaves that have been mulched up
  • Small branches and trimmings from your shrubs and trees
  • Flower plants
  • All vegetable plants from your garden at the end of the growing season
  • All vegetable and fruit debris
  • Coffee grounds and biodegradable coffee filters
  • Egg shells
  • Ashes from your fire place
  • Uncontaminated saw dust

Warning - Paint, chemicals, dairy products, meat and animal waste should not be added to your compost bin.  These items can hurt the growth of your lawn, shrubs, trees, flowers or gardens.  Also, some of these items can attract unwanted rodents.

How do you maintain your compost?

There are several ways to create and maintain your compost. You can keep your compost indoors or you can keep your compost outdoors.

Keeping your compost indoors -Believe it or not, you can actually buy an indoor composter.  If you purchase this product, you most likely live in a condominium, apartment or town home.  An indoor composter is compact, you can actually tuck it away under your kitchen sink.  It allows you to create your compost mess free and odor free.  It takes approximately 2 weeks to create compost. Consumers use this product to create/maintain compost for their house plants.  Kitchen composters can range in price from $150-$400.

Compost Tumbler – Many say this creates the compost the quickest. That statement is not necessarily true. However, it is more efficient. There are four vital ingredients in turning waste into compost (air, nitrogen, carbon and water). The compost tumbler turns the compost for you. It allows the air to hit the compost from all directions. When you build your own compost bin, you have to manually turn the compost with a pitchfork. Also, a compost tumbler is cleaner, neater, more compact, pest/rodent resistant and odor free. It also allows the compost to retain the water better. Compost tumblers can range in price from $125-$350. Learn more about purchasing a compost tumbler. Jora Compost Tumbler 33 Gallon

I believe you should learn how to compost. It is a great practice for everyone, regardless of whether you live in a single family home or not. It makes you more environmentally conscious, saves you time, saves you money and provides your lawn (shrubs, trees, garden, flowers and house plants) with the nutrition they need to thrive.

From How to Compost of Lawn Care Home Page

What my wife and I compost

When cooking we frequently compost ends of vegetables, vegetable skins and eggs.

We compost fallen leaves in the fall. Below I put them through the mulcher before they were added to the compost bin.

Types of compost bins

Outdoor compost bin 

Outdoor compost tumblers