Everyone is welcome to come compost at our park! We have two systems of composting. There are signs at the park to guide you, but here is a general guide to composting at the South Side Permaculture Park. 

Green material:

  • Kitchen waste
  • Grass and weeds
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags: Common Compostable Tea Bags: Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Fortnam & Mason, Traditional Medicinals, Stash, Numi Tea, The Republic of Tea, Yogi Tea bags

Brown material:

  • Straw and hay
  • Corn stalks
  • Dried leaves
  • Wood chips
  • Paper
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Empty egg cartons 
Things we don’t want:
  • Compostable plastic bags: need to go to a composting facility
  • Fruit stickers
  • Dryer lint
  • Dog/cat waste
  • Meat
  • Citrus: orange and lemon peels, onions, and garlic
  • Dairy products
  • Baked goods
  • Treated sawdust due to chemicals
  • Oils/greasy food

Three Bin Composting

The benefits of the three bin composting system are that it makes the regular turning of the compost easy and manageable. The idea behind this design is that as we flip the compost from one section to the next, the compost gets turned and aerated. The first section is the least decomposed, the second more so, and by the time it’s turned into the third section, it will be nutrient-rich soil, which we take from for park use. Starting on the right, this is the bin where you place green material and then add brown material on top to cover. There should be brown garden scraps next to the bins to place on top of the green material that you add. If there are no garden scraps nearby for you to use, do not worry about it as our team regularly checks the garden and can take care of that for you. Once you add both brown and green material, please turn the compost with the pitch fork that should be next to the bin. Because this is an open composting system, please do not add food waste so that we do not attract rats or other pests.

Closed Black Compost Bins

These bins twist off at the top and don’t involve any turning of the compost. Place your green material in the top and then add brown material. Make sure to slide the lid back in place so that it is fully closed. There is a door at the bottom that slides up to reveal the compost. Because these are closed composting bins, you may add your kitchen scraps and food waste under the brown material. If you are composting eggshells make sure to crush them up so that they can break down easier. Please do not put any citrus, meat, or dog/cat waste in our compost bins. Citrus alters the acidity of the soil, meat can attract pests and raw meat can be infected with things we do not want in our compost, and since we use this compost for edible plants in our garden, we do not want parasites or bad bacteria that may be in dog and cat waste. If these compost bins are full and you want to place your food waste in them, take some out of the bottom and add it to our three bin composting system. Sometimes it is not fully composted at the bottom and if this is the case please add it to the middle bin. If it is fully composted and appears to be nutrient-rich soil without any kitchen scraps, please add it to the leftmost bin.