Composting is form of recycling that can be completed in our community. It takes care of 30-40% of waste and the new material can be put to good use.
Plant waste such as vegetable peels, grass clippings, leaves, garden waste, and wood chips can be composted. The result is a soil fertilizer that does more than chemicals.
Compost adds a wide variety of nutrients and micro-organisms to soil. It doesn’t wash away into rivers and streams and helps keep the soil moist.
A compost pile can be created in your back yard with or without a bin. Municipalities and private businesses can compost on a much bigger scale.
The process will take a few months to a year or more, depending on how much attention it receives and how much ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ are in the mix.
Greens are vegetable and fruit scraps (fresh, cooked, or canned), coffee grounds/filters, tea leaves/bags, garden waste, fresh weeds without seeds, fresh grass clippings which are rich in nitrogen.
Browns are dry leaves, straw, dry hay, sawdust, woodchips from untreated wood, twigs, dried grass clippings, dried weeds without seeds, shredded paper napkins, tissue paper which are rich in carbon.
Eggshells, plain rice and pasta, bread, hair, wool, cotton can also be composted.
A layer of black dirt will get the compost started. Mixing in browns and keeping it moist but not too wet will keep it from smelling.
The compost will work faster if it is stirred regularly which can be weekly to every month.
Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, oily foods, bones, pet waste, weeds with mature seeds, plants infected with disease, plastic/petroleum products, metals, synthetic materials cannot be composted.
More information is available at http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/composting-basics-and-getting-started/.