Some food waste is inevitable, but you can keep this out of the waste stream with very little effort.
Composting Your Own Food Waste at Home
Some food waste is inevitable, but you can keep this out of the waste stream with a home compost bin. At the same time, you will be making great organic fertilizer for your garden and flower beds. And it’s very easy to do. Let’s start with a few basics:
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
Why can’t you compost
Inside Your Kitchen:
- Get a medium-sized (1 gallon or slightly smaller) container with a cover to collect your daily food scraps.
- Place it next to your sink
- When full, empty it into your compost pile
- You will quickly get into the composting habit!
Greens vs Browns:
- You need the correct balance of “greens” and “browns” in your compost pile – twice as much “browns” as “greens” is about right. Otherwise, the pile might smell and it won’t be a great fertilizer for your garden.
- “Greens” are your kitchen waste and grass clippings
- “Browns” are leaves, used paper napkins/towels, pizza boxes or other slightly soiled cardboard, etc.
- The bigger the volume, the quicker it is to make compost
- You need to turn your pile periodically with a shovel or pitchfork to aerate it
- Your pile should be wet, but not soggy
Your Compost Pile:
- It’s helpful to have 2-3 piles going at once:
- a pile you are adding new materials to
- a pile “still cooking”
- a pile that is done/ready to use
- Your compost pile can have many different forms, such as:
- a standard black plastic compost container available from the Needham DPW for $65 (purchase bin at DPW building, 500 Dedham Ave., then present your receipt at the RTS & pick up your bin)
- a circular container made of chicken wire
- several connected/adjacent wood/wire bins
- a “pile” in the corner of your yard
- a cover of some type is recommended to help keep critters out of your compost
Love the idea of home composting, but don’t want to do it yourself or want to compost everything, not just fruits and veggies – see “Alternatives to Composting Your Food Waste at Home” page for more information.
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At this point, are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Do you want to begin home composting, but need help getting started? – Then Dirty Boys Composting is the choice for you – they can help you get started with everything you need to get your compost pile started
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Dirty Boys Composting – Grant Berman, a former Newton South student, and his crew will handle your composting needs, including: compost bin purchase, delivery, installation; compost pile jump-start with top notch, Newton-bred, red wiggler worms; compost sifting and resuscitation; compost pile check ups and maintenance; family education, and on-call consultation. For more information visit the Dirty Boys Composting website or contact Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are really just trying to keep your food waste out of the waste stream, then you don’t need to be as fussy – just create a compost pile or use a bin, and keep adding your kitchen waste and a pile of leaves occasionally – it will eventually break down. But it does make a difference – home composting helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 250 lbs a year compared to a landfill.