Today, everyone seems to know at least a little about composting. When I did a Google search of "how to compost," more than 8 million matches appeared! Well, here is number 8 million and one.
I'm a big advocate of composting. By composting garden and kitchen waste, we can divert all that matter from landfills, thereby reducing the amount of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide produced. Since organic matter mixed with trash accounts for about 40% of the stuff dumped in landfills, composting will prolong the life span of a landfill, reducing the need to truck refuse even greater distances to newer landfills. If that weren't enough of an upside, we have the end product...compost.
When decomposed organic matter is added to soil, it provides all kinds of nutrients and organisms essential for soil health. Compost will also improve soil texture and helps maintain a nice, "neutral" pH. And, over time, with a good, thick layer added every year, compost can reduce, or even eliminate the need to resort to environmentally-unfriendly fertilizers.
I compost in a heavy-duty bin made of recycled plastic similar to the one pictured here. We keep a small stainless steel compost pail next to the kitchen sink to collect the waste so that we don't have to trek out to the garden everytime we generate some garbage. In addition to kitchen waste, you can compost:
- weeds (without seeds)
- grass clippings
- dryer lint (especially if most of the fabrics you dry in the dryer are natural fibers)
- shredded or ripped newspaper
- thin cardboard
- pine needles
- cornstalks (the more broken down the better
- manure from plant-eating animals
Do you compost? What kind of bin do you use?