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Composting at Home

March 31, 2017

Composting can be a great way to reduce the amount of food you waste and create nutritious soil for your backyard or garden. It can also seem confusing and complicated. Here are 4 different ways you can compost, from easy and cheap to substantial.

1. Compost Pile

Cost: Free

Supplies: Soil, shovel, food scraps

Making a compost pile is the easiest and cheapest way to compost, however, it also takes the longest amount of time. When you make a compost pile you are helping facilitate the natural decomposition of organic material, like food scraps. To make a compost pile, you layer “green” materials like food scraps and lawn clippings with “brown” materials like newspaper and leaves. Then, you moisten the layers. Every few weeks you rotate the pile, moving the insides out. Your compost is ready to use when it looks like soil. For more information on compost piles, check out this article from Organic Life.

CompostDirtyAndScrapsFoodwasteCrate.jpg2. Compost Bin

Cost- $10-$40

Supplies: Two plastic bins, drill, shredded paper, soil, food scraps, worms

Making a worm bin may seem weird, but it is one of the best ways to compost. Worms will greatly speed up the decomposition process. This compost bin can be left inside. To make a compost bin, you will need two plastic bins that fit inside each other. You need to drill small holes at the top and sides of one bin so the worms can breathe. Then, set the bin with holes inside the bin without holes. Layer the soil, shredded paper, and food scraps. Then, moisten the pile and add the worms. The worms like to be fed about once a week. For more information on compost bins, check out this article from the EPA.

CompostPileFoodWasteScrapsBin.jpg3. Compost Tumbler

Cost: $70-$300

Materials: Tumbler, food scraps, soil

Using a compost tumbler is a lot like making a compost pile. Using a tumbler, however, is faster, more compact, and less messy. Compost tumblers are large barrels used to hold compost and to make turning easier. To use a tumbler, you must first purchase one. Then, you simply layer the soil and the food scraps. Turn the tumbler every few weeks as needed. To learn more about compost tumblers, check out this article from EarthEasy.

4. Compost Machine

Cost: $100- $1,000+

Supplies: Composting machine, food scraps

Using a composting machine is the easiest and fastest way to compost, but it is also the most expensive way. A composting machine works by decomposing food scraps fast. They require little work or attention and can produce compost in a matter of hours. The most popular ones are Earth Machine and HomeBioGas.

Want to find out more ways to reduce food waste and fight hunger? Check out our Take Action page!