Backyard Composting


What is Compost?

Compost is a dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling mixture which consists mostly of decayed organic matter. Composting is a simple, natural process, nature's way of recycling nutrients and returning them to the soil to be used again. By taking advantage of this natural recycling process, you can help lighten the load of waste that would otherwise go to a landfill. Compost is used for fertilizing and conditioning soil. It can be made from materials that most households throw out. 

What Can I Compost?

Yard wastes, such as leaves, grass clippings, weeds and the remains of garden plants.

Kitchen scraps like egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps make excellent compost. DO NOT COMPOST fatty foods such as meat, fish, bones, cheese, salad dressing or leftover cooking oil.

Woody yard wastes, chipped or shredded, can be used as mulch or for paths, where they will eventually decompose and become compost. 

How Do I Build a Compost Pile?

Follow these simple steps, and in just a few hours, you'll be in business.

Compost Mound - This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to compost. Yard wastes can be composted without a bin if you do not mind the appearance of an uncontrolled compost mound in your yard.

What To Do - Find a good location and loosen the solid where your pile will be. Pile your yard waste in a mound about 3-feet by 3-feet by 3-feet. Alternate wet and dry materials. Add wastes as they become available. Remember, if you turn your compost pile it speeds up the decomposition process.

What You Need - All you need is a pitchfork or shovel and work gloves.

Compost Can - Another cheap and easy way to compost small amounts of yard and food waste.

What To Do - Drill holes 4 to 6 inches apart all around your garbage can. You also need to drill holes into the bottom. (This allows for air movement and for excess water to drain off.) It is best to put 2 to 3 inches of straw or wood chips in the bottom to help it drain. Turn the compost with a shovel or pitch fork. Keep the garbage can cover on, it helps keep out the critters. You will need to add water since it is covered.

What You Need - A garbage can with cover, straw or wood chips and a drill for making the holes.

For more information on composting click on Compost Guide.