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How to make compost?

Updated on March 29, 2012
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I have been a chef for the last 10 years but I enjoy writing as a hobby. I really enjoy writing for Hubpages because it is fun


What is composting?
What is composting? | Source

What is composting?

When people talk about composting what is it they are actually on about?

Composting is basically a form of recycling. Instead of recycling cans and bottles composting recycles organic waste. Organic waste means things like grass cuttings and kitchen scraps. When you compost these items you get a substance that is wonderful for plants and aids in the strong growth of your household plant and garden plants.

Organic matter such as grass clippings will decompose after time and turn into a dirt-like substance that is full of nutrients that can be mixed into soil to make it more fertile. Compost and soil are two totally different things. When you mix compost into soil it enriches it and gives much needed nutrients to plant that you put into it.

When it comes to composting there are several things you must consider before going ahead with it. One of the first things you should think about is what kind of container will you be placing your organic waste into. Compost bins come in many different forms and sizes so you should think about how much waste will be going into the bin, how large your garden is, where in the garden you will be placing the bin (because compost can have a rather pungent odour as it is decaying matter)and what material the bin will be made of. For example, if you do not have a large garden then you will not need a large composting bin. Your choice of compost bin will not change the actual composting process it will just make things easier for you.

When you place the kitchen waste or grass trimmings into a compost bin they will begin to break down and decompose. Thousands of microbes will eat up your organic waste and will excrete the compost. How quickly this process will happen depends on many different factors, factors such as; the size of the bin, the amount of air getting to it, the moisture levels, how much waste there is, the type of waste it is. Sometimes your compost will produce a rather disgusting odour; this is a sign that your compost is not getting enough air throughout it. This means that the waste is being broken down by anaerobic microbes, which can break down organic matter without need of oxygen. Anaerobic microbes produce compost but they also product a fair amount of methane, which is a gas that has a pungent smell. If you find that your compost stinks then you can sort this out quite easily by helping the air to circulate though your compost. This is achieved either by turning the compost, basically stick a shovel in there and turn it all over. Alternatively you can add materials such as hay and wood chippings to your compost, which create space in the compost and allow the air to circulate.

The whole process can be sped up by introducing worms to your compost, they help by eating the decaying matter and increase the speed in which the matter breaks down thus aiding the microbes in their job. Composting is a great way of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills thus reducing the number of trucks that have to go back and forth to landfill sites. This in turn reduces the amount of green house gases that are produced meaning that it helps to alleviate the damage done to the ozone layer. It also helps to grow strong and healthy plants which produce oxygen and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.


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    • Etherealenigma profile image

      Sandra M. Urquhart 6 years ago from Florida

      I really needed that understanding on composting. Thanks so much! I pinned this.

    • mooboomoo profile image

      mooboomoo 6 years ago from London

      Great hub. I do compost but didn't know the biology of it, I just know that all my kitchen waste goes straight to the chickens or the composter and I get lovely rich compost after a few months. Voted up and interesting.

    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 6 years ago from Colorado

      Great outline of what composting actually is. Since I started, I've found that around 80% of what I was throwing out before could actually be composted. It's made a huge difference in how much garbage I throw away!