Composting seems like it should be something very difficult to accomplish but on the contrary it is quite easy and very helpful for our environment. Composting reduces the amount of waste in our landfills which reduces the amount of hazardous runoff in our water resources.
Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
How to choose Compost Container
To make your own compost bin you’ll need a sturdy container for composting. I used a rectangular Rubbermaid container but, you can use the upright Rubbermaid trash can as well.
You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver or and electric drill. Drill whole in the lid of the bin and around the bottom and sides or the bin. When drilling the whole around the sides be sure to drill them about 2 to 4 inches below the top rim of the bin.
What Materials Can You Compost:
- Paper napkins & towels
- Freezer-burned vegetables or fruit
- Fresh or rotten veggies or fruit scraps
- Burlap coffee bags
- Pet hair
- Post-it notes
- Wood chips
- Lint from dryer & behind refrigerator
- un popped Popcorn
- Old spices & herbs
- Pine needles
- Matches (paper or wood)
- Seaweed and kelp
- Grass clippings
- Potato peelings
- Paper with black & white ink
- Hair clippings
- Stale bread
- Coffee grounds
- Wood ashes, Sawdust
- Tea bags and grounds
- Egg shells
- Fruit rinds
- Pea vines
- Houseplant trimmings
- Old uncooked pasta
- Garden soil
- Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
- Kleenex type tissue paper (not toilet paper)
- Tree bark
- Flower petals
- Pumpkin seeds
- Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
- Expired flower arrangements
- Citrus wastes (like lemons, orange and lime)
- Old leather gardening gloves
- Tobacco wastes
- Nut shells
- Shredded cardboard
- Fish bones
- Shrimp, Lobster & crab shells (I personally avoid adding animal products)
- Toenail clippings
- Leather wallets
- Fruit pits
- Wooden toothpicks
- Stale breakfast cereal
- ‘Dust bunnies’ from under the bed
- Pencil shavings
- Wool socks,
- Artichoke leaves,
- Leather watch bands
- Brown paper bags
- Burned toast (not buttered)
- Animal fur
- Vacuum cleaner bag contents
- Old or outdated seeds
- Liquid from canned vegetables or canned fruit
- Dirt from soles of shoes
- soap scraps
- Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
- Cardboard (shredded)
- Grocery receipts
What Compost Material Should You Avoid?
Diseased plants, Animal products (meat,bones & dairy) they can create a foul smelling compost bin, Colored/color printed paper such as Rite aid & CVS circulars and weeds that root easily. I personally avoid all weeds.
How should you organizing your compost bin?
Your bin should alternate between green material and brown material. Brown material would things such as bark, pine needles, newspaper, wood chips or lint. Green materials would be things such as fruits or veggies.
Start your compost bin by adding a 2-4 inch thick layer of brown material to the bottom of your bin and water. I usually start with newspaper. Now add in a 2-4 inch layer of green materials. This is where I had my egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps. I water the pile again, then I repeat a layer of brown and green. I alternate between layers until the bin is 3/4 of the way full. I give it a final water and seal it shut.
I set my bin in a sunny location and forget about it for 1 week. After 1 week I shake and turn the bin the mix the content together. I may take a peek inside but there is really nothing going on at this point. If my material seems dry I sprinkle it with water and seal it shut.
Kitchen Compost Collector: Each week I collect compost material from my kitchen. I store it inside of a old plastic butter container under the kitchen sink or in the refrigerator. Once the container is full, I dump it into the bin. Each time I dump the kitchen scraps I add a layer of newspaper. I shake or flip the bin over a few times and seal it shut.
Maintenance Commitment: After initially making the bin, you will not need to give it much more attention than to flip it every couple of weeks. Continue adding materials to the bin as often as you accumulate them.
Using Your Compost: Four to six weeks prior to the time that you’d like to use your compost, discontinue adding materials. This would be a great time to construct another bin in order to continue collecting your scraps. Once the compost is ready use it in your gardens.