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Composting With Kitchen Waste

composting

Composting is a great idea, but like many great ideas like exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep, it can be a hard habit to get into. As humans, we tend to forget to do things that require any amount of work. Even if those things were our idea in the first place.

 

The first step towards creating a perfect composting system is to place a lidded bucket or container under your sink. This will make it easier to transfer organic matter to your compost system as you generate them.

 

Pulled some soggy cabbage leaves out of your sink drain? Into the bucket! Not sure what to do with the inside of your coffee filter? Empty it into the bucket!

 

Once you’ve got a system in place that’s right there where you’re living, you’ll be more likely to use it on a day-by-day basis.

 

Now onto the important business: what should you be putting in your compost?

 

What Goes In

 

Once you’re ready to start composting, you’ll need to decide which items can go into the pile and which need to stay out. Remember: you’re not creating a trash heap. You can’t just throw any old thing onto it. Not all organic food byproducts are good for composting, and you have to pay attention as you are depositing. If you fall into the habit of “eyeballing” what you throw in, you run the risk of rendering your compost heap far less effective.

 

These are a few common household items that work well in almost any compost heap:

 

 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains and bread
  • Coffee grounds and coffee filters

 

  • Shredded paper and cardboard

 

Things to avoid putting in your compost drum include:

 

 

  • Pet droppings
  • Coal fire ash
  • Sticky labels
  • Meat or fish scraps

 

  • Citrus peels

Once you’ve filled your kitchen container, dump it in layers into an outdoor pile, preferably in a shady area. Pile them in this order:

 

  • Brown materials first, like dried leaves, cardboard, and wood chips at the bottom.
  • Layers of food waste, next.
  • Repeat

Layering your compost ingredients helps to diversity your nutrients and microbes, but it also has a more direct benefit: it prevents smells from growing out of hand.

 

How Long Does Composting Take?

 

Composting is an organic process, and that means it’s subject to a lot of variability. No two compost piles ever come out alike, and the timeline for a complete composting process can take anywhere from three to eight months. This depends quite heavily on the size of your pile, which materials you’ve used, and the frequency with which you turn it.

 

Mostly, you’ll compost your ingredients until they look ready. You’ll be able to tell they’re ready when they become crumbly in texture and dark brown. A good rule of thumb is that you should be incapable of recognizing what the original components were.

 

For more on tree and garden care, composting and when to remove your trees entirely, be sure to check out our other great Tree Worx blog articles, today!

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