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This article is going to talk about the why, what, and hows of composting. Compost is any organic material that should be added to soil rather than end up in landfills, where they take up space and release methane, a greenhouse grass. 


Why Compost? 

The EPA’s municipal solid waste report found in 2015 that 57.8% of landfill waste for that year was actually compostable. Composting should be a normality in every modern home. If you can use your own waste to enrich soil instead of adding to the mass amounts of trash in landfills, the 15 minute setup is worth it! It all starts with creating an easy DIY compost bin. 


Steps to Make a Compost Bin

  1. Pick your bin. It must be at least 24 inches tall, and needs a lid to keep out pests. You can buy a bin off of amazon or use a typical storage bin that most people have sitting around. 
  2. Use a drill to make around 10 small holes in the bottom of your bin — this is crucial for aeration.
  3. Place dried leaves or newspaper at the bottom for your base, filling up the container about a quarter of the way. 
  4. Place dirt on top until it is halfway full. 
  5. Toss in compost! 
  6. Stir your compost with a shovel so the dirt is covering the food scraps or other compostable material you just added. You should mix it regularly and especially when you add new compost to the pile. 
  7. Moisten the compost with water. Make sure to not completely soak it because that could cause it to smell. 
  8. Drill 10 holes into the lid of your bin. 
  9. Place it in a shady area near a water source and you’re good to go! 


What is Compostable?

From your Kitchen: 

  • Look on the bottom of cups and the handle of utensils for a note that says “compostable.” Be wary that “biodegradable” and other terms do not necessarily mean the item is compostable. 
  • Paper plates, cups, to-go cartons, ect. are acceptable and can be composted with food remnants on them. 
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
    • Not acidic fruit peels such as lemon, lime and grapefruit if you want worms to be able to live in your compost. 
  • Beans and legumes
  • Coffee filters
  • Popcorn kernels 
  • Tea leaves 
  • Expired jam and other preserved food
  • Stale bread, cereal, and crackers
  • Pizza boxes, along with other cardboard that isn’t covered in wax 
  • Wine corks (chopped to bits) 
  • Crushed up eggshells 
  • Nuts and nut shells 

From your Yard: 

  • Pinecones 
  • Dead leaves 
  • Small twigs 
  • Weeds that haven’t gone to seed yet 

From your Home: 

  • Hair clippings 
  • Fingernails 
  • Shredded newspaper 
  • Pencil shavings 
  • Floral arrangements 


Make sure you keep your compost bin in a dry and shaded spot and to add water to each material as you add it in. If you’re unsure whether or not something is compostable, just google it! Happy composting. 


If you want more information or to see where this information came from check out these websites: