Compost is the
resultant rich, dark-brown, crumbly, soil-like material produced by
naturally occurring organisms breaking down organic matter such as
grass clippings, leaves, wood chips etc into one of nature’s best
DOES IT WORK?
Composting is done
by many forms of organisms which include bacteria, fungi, worms, and a
variety of invertebrates. These organisms work together feeding
on the organic matter until the material breaks down. Bugs like
centipedes, beetles, and other organisms will feed on the smaller
invertebrates keeping the process in balance.
CAN BE COMPOSTED?
Just like a good recipe or chemistry experiment, the best results will
come from the right mix of ingredients. There are four key
ingredients to which are all common household items. You
don’t need any other fancy equipment or expensive artificial
additives to break down your organic scraps into something
useful. The four ingredients include:
Nitrogen-rich greens provides
nitrogen and acts as a source of protein for the microbes that are hard
at work in your compost pile. Example nitrogen-rich greens
- Green leaves
- Plant trimmings
- Grass Clippings
- Raw fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
Carbon-rich browns provide a
source of carbon and energy for the microbes. Example carbon-rich
Water provides the dampness
the organisms thrive on.
- Dried grasses
- Twigs and small branches
- Corn cobs and stalks
- Shredded newspaper
Air provides the oxygen needed to
decompose the organic matter. The compost should be turned approximately
once per week in order to provide enough air to properly decompose the
material and control odors.
WHAT CANNOT BE COMPOSTED?
Since compost is used
primarily as a soil amendment, you want to keep it free of plant
diseases and unhealthy bacteria. The following is a list of items that
should NOT be added to a compost pile.
- Meat products
- Dairy items
- Oily food
- Pet feces (including
dog, cat, and bird)
- Diseased plants
- Weeds gone to seed
WHERE CAN I GET A
bins can be purchased at select garden stores or are sold at the The Recycling Zone. Compost bins can also
be made. Visit reduce.org
for additional information.
WHERE IS THE NEAREST
By composting you
can save money by reducing your fertilizer and landscaping bills,
lowering your water bill, and spending less money on trash
disposals. For additional information on composting visit reduce.org or Dakota County.