Composting fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, dry leaves, etc. is a great way for your family to nourish the earth vs tossing in the trash which is incinerated. Food waste containing bones, pizza, greasy pizza boxes, meat, etc. and people who can't do composting at home can nourish the earth by collecting and dropping off at the Irvington Farmers Market or A. F. Veteran Park in Greenburgh. See our many resources below, including vermicomposting.
Buying a Compost Bin
Purchasing a composting vessel for your backyard is a great way to get started without a lot of initial time investment. There are many great options including the Earth Machine, Compost tumbler, and Wriggly Wranch Worm composting bins. Also, Westchester County is having a composting bin sale. Check out the spring 2021 Home Composter and Rain Barrel Sale.
Homemade Compost Bin
Ah, the joys of turning something you think you don’t need, don’t want and can’t wait to get rid of into something you don’t know how you managed without it.
The practice of composting is just that. The biological byproducts of our gardening, our living, is only waste when we fail to recognize its value and throw it away; adding more volume to our already overwhelmed, costly waste management systems.
If we stop and learn a few simple principles and practices, we will become skilled at transmuting waste into a rich resource for our gardens, house plants, lawns, wildlife habitats.
Choosing composting is a great way to be gentle to the environment and your wallet. The main reasons to consider composting include:
Reduce waste sent to a landfill
Reduce greenhouse gases by reducing fuel used for transport
Help Irvington control leaf removal costs
Good for your garden - nothing beats a nutritious compost mixture generated on site
Composting is not a very difficult process. It is nature’s way of recycling and returning valuable organic matter and nutrients to the soil to be used again.
Create a Compost Bin or Area
A compost bin is a structured area that you use to contain your compost. This structure could be made of wood, wire, or any material. The truth is you don’t even need a bin. All you really need is an area to pile raw materials for the composting. It is suggested that you don’t pile your materials on concrete, plastic, or anything else that doesn’t allow the materials to touch the dirt. The dirt is important because as the materials breakdown, worms will migrate into the compost and further assist with the process.
Materials that make the Compost
Grass clippings and leaves are critical to a composting process because they provide the nitrogen and carbon necessary to accelerate the breakdown of your composting materials.
Mother Nature needs 5 to 6 months in order to properly breakdown the raw materials to effectively turn them into usable compost. During this time, turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks.
Home Composting Guide - Cornell Waste Management Institute
Feeding the Soil- EPA
Composting At Home - NYS Department of Environmental Conservaton
Red worms live in the upper layer of the forest floor. These worms can turn food waste into nutrient-rich humus for gardens and houseplants. A mere tablespoon of worm castings provides enough organic plant nutrients to feed an eight inch potted plant for over two months. Use a worm composting bin or vermicomposting bin to make a valuable soil amendment out of things like: old newspapers, vegetable food scraps, trimmings from house plants and other organic materials that would normally be thrown away.
Worms Eat My Garbage - The classic text on vermiposting (Amazon.com link)
Worm Composting How-to - Gardeners Supply tutorial
Vermicomposting 101 - Worms Way tutorial
Vermiculture: Worming Its Way to Gardeners' Hearts - Worms Way
Make Kitchen Scraps Disappear with Worm Bins - Worms Way