Friday, March 18, 2011

...and on to Composting...and what if you can't have a composter.

My Countertop Compost bin
My recent post on community gardening got me thinking about composting.  I <3 composting as it's reduced my contribution to the landfill significantly over the past few years.  It's still a mystery to me how all that organic matter can break down into such a small amount of stuff. I have a 5 gallon composting container on my counter.  It has a charcoal filter that absorbs smells.  (You can store scraps in any kind of container, the advantage of a bin is the charcoal filter). Once that's full, I empty it into my compost barrel that I keep out in the alley.  It's been there for years.  It's a closed container, and no, I've never seen a rodent around it (there's too much other low hanging fruit out there). My neighbors occasionally contribute to it.  I don't put any meat products in there...but paper towels, yard waste, banana peels, coffee filters all get thrown in.  Every couple of weeks or so, I'll pick up a bag of coffee grounds from the local coffee shop and throw that in along with a bucket of water.  The acid from the coffee seems to help break down the goods faster.  In the summer, I add more water. I stir my compost every couple of weeks (and am awed by the diversity of organisms I find breaking down my stuff), and in the spring and fall, I take out that rich, dark compost and throw it on my yard.   If I didn't use it on my own yard, I'm sure if I posted it on FreeCycle DC, someone would want it. 

But I know that a lot of folks live in apartments. What to do?  There are a couple of interesting options I've found.  COMPOST CAB says for $8 per week, they will supply you with a bin, pick it up and replace it with a new clean one.  They'll even bring compost back to you if you want it.  Fat Worm Compost seems to provide a similar service. You might stop by your community garden and see if you can drop off your scraps in their compost bin. My workplace has contracted a company to compost our (many) coffee grounds and tea bags.  It's great to get this organic material out of our landfills and back into our soil.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! We definitely think composting is something that more people should know about. Some people assume it is a very hard thing to do, but it is quite easy!