Yard Waste To Generate Garden Compost
Many towns and cities of all sizes are encouraging people to bring their yard debris and green waste into central recycling centers so that the yard waste can be composted.
The main purpose of these efforts is to reduce the burden on the landfills, while at the same time providing recycling composting fertilizer for public parks and facilities. In some municipalities, people can “trade-in” their yard debris for compost that they can use on their own property.
Organic Waste Recycling And Benefits Of Composting
This use of yard waste on a municipal level has helped to reduce the burden on the landfills while making people more aware of the importance of organic waste recycling and of the benefits of composting.
At the same time, the parks and recreation departments are able to cut their budgets for fertilizer and soil treatments by utilizing the compost to treat and improve the soil in the parks. Some cities also use the compost to support community vegetable garden projects as well.
Most Yard Waste Is Leaves, Grass, Shrub and Hedge Trimmings
In most cases, the largest portion of raw materials comes from the local yard waste which is a combination of leaves, lawn and grass clipping, shrub and hedge trimmings, and very small, pruned branches from trees.
In addition, the larger branches and even small trees can be ground up and the mulch can go on the compost heap as well as the crop of Christmas trees that are shredded each year.
Compost Your Own Yard Debris
Of course, individual households can easily compost their yard debris as well, without needing to either wait for the pick-up schedule or for their municipality to institute such a program.
Backyard composting is quite simple to start and there are compost bins available on the market for those with small or large backyards. Even those who live in apartments can enjoy the benefits of recycling their organic kitchen waste.
Home Composting Better Than Public Composting Piles
In fact, home composting can be a better solution. This is because most municipalities exclude certain organic waste products from the public composting piles that can readily be added to your composting project.
For instance, at home, you can include newspaper, coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, fruit rinds, and vegetable peels. Most of the time you cannot include any of these items with your yard waste for curbside pickup.
With backyard composting, you can include all of these items right alongside your yard waste and debris and throw it all right on your compost heap. However, you should never include animal meat, bones, pet feces, or any dairy products. These waste items will simply attract vermin and pests to your backyard and interfere with the decomposition process.
It has been estimated that by separating yard waste from other garbage and turning that organic material into compost, municipalities are able to reduce the amount of trash that is sent to their landfills by up to 20%, depending on the season.
This can help to make a significant difference for the future and at the very least buy some time while the decision-makers figure out how to deal with the landfill issues. At the very least, every homeowner can do their part by either composting their green waste themselves or separating it and putting it out for municipal pickup.
Use Waste To Make A Good Compost
The Mixture of Opposites
• 1/3 of green waste (fresh plants,
peelings, and leftovers …) and 2/3 of brown waste (dried plants,
straw, cardboard, branches …).
• 50% fine waste / 50% waste coarse. A little water but not too much!
• If pressing compost, water flows, it is too wet: add dry elements (brown waste).
• If it crumbles, add green waste or a little water.
• “Air!” mix s regularly as possible compost for good ventilation.
Balanced compost does not give off odors Stir the compost properly will allow good aeration and microorganisms will be able to work better avoid bad smells.
How and When to Use His Compost?
After 4 to 12 months, the materials will be transformed in compost, thanks to the intervention microorganisms and the time elapsed. When the compost is ready, you can not identify the original waste that has broken down, except perhaps eggshells or pieces of wood (if necessary you can sieve your seedling before use). He must smell the forest and have a very dark color.
Qualities of Compost
Young Compost (4 to 6 months) For surface use It has high fertilizing power but requires to take some precautions: never bury it, and use it only for seedlings already well developed and demanding organic matter (tomato, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage …).
The Benefits of Compost
• It improves the soil by acting on
its porosity and its ability to retain minerals and water.
• It enriches the soil by bringing a large number of minerals and trace elements. His action is more durable than chemical fertilizers.
• It also promotes the biodiversity of micro-fauna.
Mature compost (9 to 12 months) Any use, surface, sowing, potting Has an amending and fertilizing effect, incorporate it on the ground when digging late autumn or late winter a few weeks before sowing. Mix it with soil to make it potting soil after sieving (1/3 of ripe compost for 2/3 of soil). spread it sifted on the lawn.
In the Kitchen Garden
• Spread up to 3 to 5 kg / m2 in
preparation for the land.
• Ideal also for sowing and planting that you can cover from 2 to 3 mm compost.
In your Planters
• Deposit 3 to 4 mm of clay bottom of the pot then prepare a mixture of 40% earth and 60% compost.
In your Greenspaces
• In maintenance for your lawns, to
fall after the last mowing and the passage of the aerator roller
spread a mixture of 1/3 of sand and 2/3 of compost from 2 to 4 kg /
m2. Your lawn “Will leave more beautiful” in the spring.
• At the foot of your plantations (shrubs, trees, rose bushes) spread a thin layer of compost, scratch, and water.
Composting is an excellent way to
manage food waste. Like leaf and yard waste composting, compost
from food waste is a valuable soil amendment. When added
to gardens and lawns, finished compost will
increase soil moisture retention,
provide additional nutrients, and reduce the need for chemical
Composting food waste reduces the quantity of waste disposed of in landfills and incinerators and saves money. In rural communities especially, residents can easily compost food waste on their own property, with or without their yard waste. This activity does not require a permit. Food waste can also be composted at centralized facilities, such as solid waste transfer stations, with a permit.
As with leaf and yard waste composting, it is important to understand the basic science of composting in order to achieve a high quality finished compost without producing adverse effects, such as odors, and without attracting rodents, flies and other pests. See the table on the reverse side. Also, read the Leaf & Yard Waste Composting BMP Guidance Sheet to learn more about the science of composting. It is also important to understand certain terminology,
Including Composting Terms & Definitions
• Feedstock – the
mixture of organic wastes brought to your facility for
• Greens – organic wastes high in nitrogen (green grass and leaves, food waste, and garden cuttings.
• Browns – organic wastes high in carbon (autumn leaves, wood chips or sawdust).
• Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratio (C: N ratio) – the balance of energy and nutrients needed by microorganisms.
• Windrow – a pile with a shorter height and width, but greater length (example: 8’ by 12’ by 60’).
• Plant Pathogens – microscopic organisms such as bacteria and viruses that are harmful to other plants.
Best Management Practices for Food Waste Composting
The following BMPs may differ,
depending on whether you use windrow, static pile, or in-vessel
• Mix roughly equal amounts by weight of browns and greens to provide the proper 30:1 C: N ratio.
• Do not leave food waste uncovered for more than 2 hours and blend all food waste into a window within 24 hours after its arrival or store the food waste in a closed container to avoid odors and pests (birds, rodents, etc.).
• Routinely turn each windrow or pile to maintain aerobic (oxygen-rich) conditions.
• Do not turn windrows during cold winter days or during rainstorms.
Best Management Practices for N.H. Solid Waste Facilities
Food Waste Composting Did You Know?
• Bacteria are the most important
component of the composting process.
• Chopping up all the compost ingredients into pieces less than 2 inches in size will speed up the composting process.
• Charcoal and wood ash can be used to control odors during the composting process; however, too much ash can harm plants grown in the compost.
Compost piles are too close to one another and too tall.
Poor drainage is allowing water to accumulate between windows.
• Consider applying water after
windy days as windrows may have become too dry.
• It can take two or more days for compost piles kept at temperatures greater than 140°F to kill weed seeds and plant pathogens; at temperatures above 155°F, it may take only a few hours. However, do not allow windrow temperatures to remain above 155°F for more than a few hours, as beneficial organisms will also begin to die.
• Periodically check moisture levels. Grab a handful of compost from inside the pile and squeeze. If it drips, it is too wet, in which case add more dry material and turn the pile. If it is damp but does not drip when you do the squeeze test, it is about right.
• Pile heights can vary based on the amount of space and type of equipment available, but should not be more than 10 feet.
• Do not compost domestic animal fecal matter. It may contain viruses that will not be killed during the composting process.
• Do not compost feedstock containing weeds that have gone to seed because they may survive the composting process.
• Allow the compost to mature/stabilize until it no longer reheats after turning. It should have a dark brown to black color, a crumbly cake-like texture, and an earthy odor.
• If considering composting sludge or septage, you must comply with the NHDES sludge and septage rules.
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