The Basics of Composting
Canadians have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the future health of our country and our community, and composting is one way we can all help.
Whether you own a condo, townhome or you own house, recycling your organic waste is an excellent way to do your part. Many municipalities have organic waste collection programs so that you don’t have to put your organic waste into the general landfills. However, if you have the space to set up a compost bin, here is the basic formula for a healthy and productive compost.
Organic Material: Add equal amounts of GREENS and BROWNS. Green organics are high in nitrogen, and brown organics are high in carbon. Add alternate layers of brown and green material to increase the efficiency of the composting. Bury food scraps in the center of the pile under a layer of soil or finished compost.
Moisture: Keep the compost about as damp as well rung out rag. Be sure to check moisture and sprinkle with water when dry.
Air: Aerate or 'turn' the compost to help the material decompose more quickly. Turn the pile every 2 to 3 weeks. You may also use a broom handle to poke holes throughout the pile.
Follow the steps above and it will generally take 2 - 3 months to produce finished compost. You’ll know your compost is ready when it no longer has traces of the green and brown material. The finished compost will be dark brown and have an earthy smell. In most cases the bottom of the compost is ready to use while the top is still decomposing.