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Each household can divert 10-30% of waste from landfill by backyard composting. Add finished compost to gardens, lawns and plants as a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
No matter what the season, do your part by returning what comes out of the ground back to the soil. This will also reduce your waste disposal costs and send less waste to County landfills. Mix compost into your garden soil annually before planting. Spread the compost around your yard and under trees. Sprinkle a thin layer on your house plants. If you have extra compost, share with a friend.
To help breakdown and to create a nutrient-rich compost, a well maintained composting bin requires a balance of both nitrogen-rich "green materials" (e.g., fruit/vegetable scraps or fresh cut grass) and carbon-rich "brown materials" (e.g., dried leaves, dried grass, or shredded newspaper) to be added in layers.
if too much water is added, odours may occur
In spring, as a compost bin defrosts, microorganisms will become active and the decomposition process will speed up. Add water and a carbon source (e.g. dry leaves). Mix the compost to enhance the breakdown of materials.
Microbial activity increases in the summer and the compost will become quite "hot" if the bin is maintained with suitable levels of oxygen, water and materials. To speed up decomposition, break/chop materials into small pieces, keep the compost as moist as a wrung-out sponge, and mix the compost to add air.
Add dry fallen leaves to your composter as a "brown" material. If you have surplus leaves, store for later use, create a compost bin for leaves only, apply leaves to the garden as mulch, or allow a moderate amount of shredded fallen leaves to decompose on the lawn naturally.
Continue to add materials to the composter and layer with reserved dry leaves (if you have them). As materials in a composter break down, heat is produced, so decomposition will continue even as the outside temperature drops.
The County hosts backyard composting workshops each spring. Participants learn about the science of backyard composting, troubleshooting, and tips on how to use finished compost. Please visit the Master Composter Programme page for details.