Composting is a natural process of decomposition of organic materials into a rich soil that you can use for your own gardens! This is a sustainable practice and saves you money! Composting keeps heavy food waste out of our trash bins and landfills where it can breakdown anaerobically and lead to production of greenhouse gasses.
There are many important characteristics of a good compost pile that allow for optimal biodegradation. The most important include:
You can create a bin simply made from wire, wood, concrete blocks or a barrel with sufficient drainage holes. The new age composter is an enclosed bin provided by the DEP. These are available for purchase for $25 each through the Board of Health. Enclosed compost piles keep out pests, hold heat and moisture in, and have a neat appearance. Be sure to set up the bin in a shady area with good drainage.
Begin with a layer of coarse material such as corn stalks to allow for air passages. Add alternating layers of “green” and “brown” materials and mix. You want to sprinkle with soil every 12 inches.
Keep the compost pile damp or it will not decompose.
As time goes on, continue to fluff the pile with a hoe or pitchfork in order to keep sufficient oxygen. You should do a complete turning of the pile (so the top becomes the bottom) in spring and fall to shorten compost time.