Did you know that the first full week of May is celebrated as International Compost Awareness Week? Composting is an excellent way of recycling organic materials such as grass clippings, yard waste, and food scraps to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
During this week, Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction celebrates by providing free compost to residents at the Valparaiso and Portage Compost sites. The benefits of using compost on your lawn or garden are remarkable. What is commonly referred to as “black gold”, will help your plants flourish, reduce soil erosion, keep waste out of landfills, and create carbon rich soil, protecting the environment.
Compost is created through a number of steps:
Combining organic wastes, such as wasted food, yard trimmings, and manures, in the right ratios into piles, rows, or vessels.
Adding bulking agents such as wood chips, as necessary to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials;
Allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process.
Optional: Compost can be “turned” every 1-3 months to speed up the process of nutrient distribution.
Mature compost is created using high temperatures to destroy pathogens and weed seeds that natural decomposition does not destroy.
You can begin your own compost bin at home by digging out a trench or building an above ground structure. As composting grows in popularity, brands have even created solutions for apartment owners to compost with mini-indoor bins. For more information on how to start your own compost bin, look here:
Composting can be a fun, resourceful way to reduce your annual household waste and support a healthy environmental cycle. Check out our website for Porter County Compost Site information.
Sources: U.S. EPA