So, you just finished gardening and you have a pile of weeds. Instead of pulling out a plastic trash bag, why not dump it into your compost bin? Composting recycles an array of organic materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and be left to produce harmful gases such as methane. These materials prove very useful in naturally fertilizing soil for gardens and farms, as well as putting carbon back into the earth instead of releasing it.
In fact, it is so useful that in 2009 San Francisco, California, signed into law legislation that makes composting mandatory for San Francisco residents. This will be implemented by distributing green bins for composting in addition to the trash and recycling bins his constituents receive. The law hopes to push the city closer to its 2020 goal of sending zero waste to landfills.
Take part in nature’s natural cycle of growth and decay by composting your extra garden materials!
How to compost:
First, purchase or build a compost bin in whichever size you want to use.
Next, make sure the bin has some ventilation or air holes, otherwise microbials that thrive without air will assemble, causing an unpleasant smell. In order to successfully compost and promote the growth of microbial organisms which decay the material, allow for them their essential needs: air, water and food. Proper moisture greatly affects the microorganisms, so make sure the pile remains slightly damp but never wet.
Finally, to provide proper food, make sure that there is a good mixture of live (green) materials and dead (brown) materials.
Dump the materials in your compost bin and continue to add to the container as needed. Because the compost on the bottom of the pile is the oldest and most decayed, this should be taken out for use first. For this reason, some opt for a compost bin that tumbles with the spin of a handle to avoid unevenly decayed compost. Finished compost should resemble soil and the vast majority of the individual ingredients should not be discernable.
What to compost:
What not to compost: