Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Organic matter such as yard and food waste make up about 23% of the waste that is generated in the United States. Composting is a way to re-use this organic waste to keep it out of the landfills while creating natural soil additives for your gardens. When worked into the soil, compost provides essential nutrients, improves soil texture, moderates temperatures, and increases the ability of the soil to absorb air and water. It also suppresses weed growth, decreases erosion, and reduces the need to apply commercial soil additives, thereby saving you money.
There is a great new post and slideshow on TreeHugger called 8 Ways to Compost and Which One You Should Try. I couldn't really think of 8 ways, so I thought the article was worth a read. After reading the article, I'm still not sure I would really consider these 8 different ways, but here is what they have listed. Pop on over to the full post for more details.
1) Hot Composting - By creating conditions where microorganisms thrive, hot composting generates significant amounts of heat. Takes some work but the compost breaks down relatively quickly.
2) Cold Composting - Easier but slower. More likely to have weeds and diseases.
3) Vermicomposting or Worm Composting- Let worms do the work.
4) Leaf mold - Piling up your leaves and letting them rot. Similar to #2, but only made of leaves.
5) Grub Composting - A small container that uses the larva of the black soldier fly to create compost in a matter of days.
6) Compost Tumblers - Compost tumblers offer a convenient, labor-saving alternative to turning a hot compost heap—and they help to break down compost a lot faster than a cool heap too.
7) Humanure Compost - Making compost out of human waste.
8 ) Municipal Composting - Letting government agencies collect yard waste and turn it into mulch. (See our resources page for sources for free and low cost municipal mulch in the Metro DC area)