Ah, the joys of turning something you think you don’t need, don’t want and can’t wait to get rid of into something you don’t know how you managed without it.
The practice of composting is just that. The biological byproducts of our gardening, our living, is only waste when we fail to recognize its value and throw it away; adding more volume to our already overwhelmed, costly waste management systems.
If we stop and learn a few simple principles and practices, we will become skilled at transmuting waste into a rich resource for our gardens, house plants, lawns, wildlife habitats.
Choosing composting is a great way to be gentle to the environment and your wallet. The main reasons to consider composting include:
- Reduce waste sent to a landfill
- Reduce greenhouse gases by reducing fuel used for transport
- Save money
- Help Irvington control leaf removal costs
- Good for your garden - nothing beats a nutritious compost mixture generated on site
Composting is not a very difficult process. It is nature’s way of recycling and returning valuable organic matter and nutrients to the soil to be used again.
Create a Compost Bin or Area
A compost bin is a structured area that you use to contain your compost. This structure could be made of wood, wire, or any material. The truth is you don’t even need a bin. All you really need is an area to pile raw materials for the composting. It is suggested that you don’t pile your materials on concrete, plastic, or anything else that doesn’t allow the materials to touch the dirt. The dirt is important because as the materials breakdown, worms will migrate into the compost and further assist with the process.
Materials that make the Compost
Grass clippings and leaves are critical to a composting process because they provide the nitrogen and carbon necessary to accelerate the breakdown of your composting materials.
Mother Nature needs 5 to 6 months in order to properly breakdown the raw materials to effectively turn them into usable compost. During this time, turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks.
Check out this one page visual guide - highly recommended: Composting Made Easy!
YOU-TUBE How Tos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/IrvingtonGPTF - short demo videos by GPTF folks
- Composting Made Easy! - one page visual guide - highly recommended.
Cornell Waste Management Institute - Home Composting Guide
A Simple Guide to Leaf Composting - Cornell CCE Westchester
Compost Made Easy - Bronx Green-Up, NYBG (in English and Spanish)
Composting Fact Sheets: Nice collection covering a range of topics including: Lasagna Composting; Troubleshooting; and Vermiposting - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
Compost Benefits: Why Composting is Useful - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
Composting: Discusses and defines composting, what compost can be used for, and other related topics. - EPA
Mastercomposter.com - Master Composter Site
What is Composting? - Mastercomposter.com
Why Not Throw It Out? Very interesting page on why composting is essential - Mastercomposter.com (Click OK to dismiss LOGIN popup.)
NYC Composting Site - NYC
Composting At Home - NYS Department of Environmental Conservaton
Back to Basics Composting - Gardener's Supply
All About Back to Basics Composting - Gardener's Supply
Innovative Uses of Compost: Reforestation, Wetlands Restoration & Habitat Revitalization - EPA
Westchester County Brochures:
VIDEOS: Composting videos (including: Lasagna Composting; Food Scrap Preparation) - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
VIDEO: How Stuff Works - Composting
Composting supplies - Worms Way (wormsway.com)
Composting supplies - Gardeners Supply (gardeners.com)
Encourages consumers to grasscycle, mulch, and compost to reduce the amount of yard waste in the waste stream and provides details on how and what to compost.
Greenscaping Guide: offers guidance for consumers on changing their landscapes to GreenScapes, saving time and money while protecting the environment - EPA
Greenscapes Seasonal Planner: planning calendar to help you save time, money, and make your piece of the planet a healthier place to live. - EPA