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Composting at a Glance
Here's a statistic that might startle you: the average household produces around 200 lbs. of food waste each year. This waste ends up in landfills where it mixes with non-organic waste and creates contaminated liquids and toxic gas. If you're going to throw it out anyway, why not do it in a way that's good for the environment? Composting is an environmentally friendly solution for getting rid of your trash. It's easy, inexpensive, and practically effortless.
What it Takes to Compost
There's not much that's required to start a compost pile. If you can remember to toss your yard waste and food scraps into one designated spot, you can compost. A compost bin or tumbler isn't even a requirement though it does keep things cleaner and makes the process easier. But if you don't have the means to buy a composter, a simple wooden bin or even a bin framed in chicken wire will do.
The most important factors in producing successful compost are what you add to the heap and remembering to turn the compost on a regular basis. Compost needs to be well aerated to thrive and should be in a cool, shady spot but not in a wet or soggy area. Adding an activator to your compost will help move things along.
What can I Compost? Appropriate Items Include:
Do not add products that would stink or spoil the compost like meat or dairy items.
Compost Bins and Tumblers
One way to ensure you get your compost right is to invest in a compost bin or a compost tumbler. Compost bins range in size from less than 40 gallons to over 110 gallons. These bins are specially designed to give you the best results from your compost. Most have several access doors for easy access and stirring. They're usually made of dark colors to help harness the sun's warmth. There are even kitchen composters sized just right for keeping on your kitchen counter. These small composters save you trips outdoors to your large compost heap. Compost tumblers make aerating your compost a snap - just give it a spin once a week or so.
Creepy Crawly Composters
Worm composters are a favorite among compost enthusiasts. These composters have several levels for the worms to crawl through. Worms eat your food waste, turning it into rich compost. These composters can even be used inside so you can compost year round. Keep the worms well fed and they'll have no reason to evacuate the composter. (Don't worry - they won't really get out.) Worm composters are so odorless, you can keep one right in your kitchen where it's most handy, but most people prefer to keep them in the basement or another less conspicuous spot.