Instead of tossing your food scraps into the garbage, compost them! Your leftovers will turn into nutrient-rich soil fertilizer, so you won't spend money on potentially dangerous chemical fertilizers. By making a compost bin, you'll help the environment and your wallet!
1. Purchase a large garbage can. Purchase or repurpose an old trash bin. We recommend using at least a 32-gallon trash can because it will fill quickly. Note: Be sure your trash can has a lid to deter pests.
2. Prepare to aerate the trash bin. Drill small holes throughout the side and lid of the trash can (not the bottom). Place the holes six to 12 inches apart so your compost can be aerated.
3. Cover holes with duct tape. Cover your holes from the outside with strong duct tape to keep curious critters out of the compost mix. The duct tape will allow enough air to pass through.
4. Set a raised bed of bricks. Once you’ve chosen where you want to place your compost bin, set bricks down first. Then, place your bin on top of the bricks. Raising your compost bin will help air circulation get to the contents of the bin.
5. Add to your compost pile. As your compost pile grows, pay attention to its moisture level. You want the pile to stay moist, but never be wet. If it’s too wet, oxygen cannot reach parts of the pile and the composting process won’t happen.
6. Aerate your pile. Every two weeks, dig into the pile and turn the contents. You can also aerate by laying your trash bin on its side and rolling it to move the contents.
1. Prepare your container. You'll need a small container with a lid, a tray to collect spills, a small bag of soil and some old newspaper. Punch holes in your container's lid, then cover your tray with newspaper and place the compost bin onto the tray.
2. Add dirt and turn once a week. Fill the bin with about four inches of dirt. Then, slip it (and the tray) under your sink. You can also store it on your countertop. Once a week, mix your food scraps and add more soil!
3. What can you compost? Here are a few guidelines on what you can and cannot compost. Good to compost: fruit and vegetable peels and cores, leftover cooked vegetables (if they weren’t cooked in butter), old produce, coffee grounds, tea leaves and bags, feathers, eggshells, newspaper, weeds, leaves and flowers. Bad to compost: ashes, cat droppings, cat litter, colored paper, dog droppings, lime, meat, fat, bones, oil and toxic materials.