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COMPOST

WHAT IS COMPOST?
aCompost 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 soil amendments. 

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?
aComposting 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.

WHAT 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 include: a

  • 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 browns include: a

  • Dried grasses
  • Leaves
  • Straw
  • Woodchips
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Corn cobs and stalks
  • Sawdusta
  • Shredded newspaper
Water provides the dampness the organisms thrive on.

Air provides the oxygen needed to decompose the organic matter.  aThe 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
    a
  • Dairy items
  • Oily food
  • Pet feces (including dog, cat, and bird)
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds gone to seed
  • Ashes


WHERE CAN I GET A COMPOST BIN?
aCompost 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 COMPOST SITE? a
Compost sites
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.

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Page Modified: March 14, 2014 12:27 PM

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