Why pay to have yard debris hauled away when you can easily reuse it?
Nature recycles itself. Plants die and decompose, enriching the soil. Seeds blow or drop in, and the
cycle starts all over again. In an effort to better the environment, cities have increasingly called for
separating yard waste from household trash for large-scale composting. Homeowners can do the same
thing and save the hauling fees.
What can you compost? Most any organic material, but they’re not all created equal. Leaves, grass
clippings, wood (but not coal) ashes, kitchen vegetable and fruit refuse, manure from vegetarian
animals, seaweed, and even dryer lint are all good compost candidates. The smaller the material can
be ground or chopped up, the faster it will decompose.
Different Composting Bins
A compost bin can be an unsecured heap, a sealed plastic bucket, or a fencedin corner of your yard.
The incorporation method calls for small amounts of nonfatty food wastes (no meats or bones) to be mixed with soil and directly
buried 8 inches down or deeper.
Plastic compost bins work well to control vermin attracted to compost; they are available in tumbler models for churning the
An open wire-mesh compost bin is appropriate for yard waste, less so for food scraps.
A compost pile requires as much or as little work as you wish. A pile left to its own will
eventually break down, while a managed pile that you rotate and water will decompose much faster.
Concerned about unsightly piles of dead stuff in your yard attracting vermin? Closed plastic compost
bins are available in several styles and sizes. Set one up in a corner of your yard, save the city some
truck fuel, and enrich your garden at the same time.
MAKE IT EASY
Grass clippings can be recycled by leaving them on the lawn. Clippings add nutrients, help
with water retention in hot weather, and reduce the need for fertilizer. Short clippings work
best, which can mean more frequent mowing or the use of a mulching lawn mower. Clippings
can also be used in gardens.
Worm composting can reduce food waste and create rich compost.
In an aerated plastic container, your worms can live indoors or out as long as the temperature is 40–80 degrees and they’re kept out
of direct sunlight.
Each bin requires moistened bedding, redworms, and a supply of nonfatty food scraps, especially fruit, vegetables, crushed eggshells,
and coffee grounds.
Minimal maintenance includes refreshing the bedding and removing the compost a few times a year.