Start a compost pile in your backyard as a way to recycle your food scraps and yard debris. Composting is the natural process of breaking up of organic waste (such as food and yard waste) into a nutrient-rich soil. This soil can be reused in your yard or garden – no need to purchase fertilizer!
A healthy compost pile requires a good ratio of green things (wet materials, such as food scraps and grass clippings) and brown things (dry materials, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt). Alternating layers of these two materials is a good way to maintain both a nitrogen source (green things) and carbon source (brown things) for your pile, which is necessary for it to decompose into a nutrient-rich soil. Your pile needs oxygen, water, and bugs to help your scraps decompose, so be sure to allow for plenty of airflow. Generally, your pile should maintain the wetness of a wrung-out sponge. Water when necessary.
Take a look at these tips for starting a backyard compost pile.
Compost bins can be constructed out of almost anything – wooden pallets, planks of wood, chicken wire, etc. Sometimes you don’t even need a bin! Having a bin simply helps keep your pile neat and contained, which is especially helpful if the pile is small to medium sized. You can even purchase compost bins, such as Earth Machine brands, or smaller compost pails to keep indoors. The options are plentiful, so be sure to shop around.