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Composting: an Old Technique, a New Phenomenon

Background

Composting has been popular since the formation of civilization. Before public services such as trash and recycling collection were widespread, composting was the primary way individuals got rid or and reused household waste.

Composting benefits the environment in several ways. Most notably, composting reduces the amount of solid waste that a home generates like old papers from easy essay writer. Composting also decreases the amount of unnatural or inorganic fertilizers used for lawns and gardens. Once compostable substances are decomposed, they form a nutrient-rich, all-natural fertilizer that can be added to soil in gardents and lawns to make them healthy and productive.

What Can Be Composted?

Anything that you know for a fact is biodegradable can be composted. This includes kitchen waste, such as vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds and egg shells. Lawn clippings, weeds, mulch, wood chips, leaves, grass, hay and straw can also be composted.

While anything biodegradable can be composted, foods that can spoil quickly, such as meats and milk, are very attractive to pests. In addition, human and animal waste, chemically treated lawn clippings, grass, hay, and straw, or anything diseased, can obviously have a deleterious effect on the fertilizer that will be yeilded from the compost. Do not add these in to your compost pile, even if they are biodegradable substances.

When considering what to compost, most organic substances that are green and brown are compostable. Most compostable materials, in addition to their color, are moist and soft. According to Tom Richard of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, anything with a high nitrogen content can be composted, most likely, as it will biodegrade and turn into an essential nutrient component for fertilizer.



Just remember, many compostable substances also attract vermin and insects, so keep your compost piles well fortified against these pests!

Starting a Compost PileMany people feel overwhelmed when starting a compost pile. Due to time, space and other restrictions, there are often concerns about having the resources to begin a compost pile. Compost piles can be large, or they can be as small as a tub on a porch or even under a sink. Apartment-dwellers can compost in a plastic tub with a lid, or begin a small compost pile in a courtyard or local park, with permission from the proper authorities. Individuals with detached homes can start compost piles on lawns or garden plots. Compost piles can be simply constructed by using an old sandbox or other walled structure (to keep away vermin and pests).

Community Resources for Composters

Many communities offer compost demonstrations, where you can watch an experienced composter build a composting site, add materials and use the compost. Most demonstrations also have a Q&A session to follow.

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