Posts Tagged ‘composting’

How to generate heat from compost

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Who would have thought that the heat that’s generated from a hot pile of compost was possible enough to boil water from showers, and warm building structures? Believe in this kind of process as it works wonders. Composting not only creates a valuable and nutrient rich resource. It can also produce an energy source that can be completely acquired for free. All you need is a pile of kitchen scraps and garden wastes, and you’re good to go! You can learn more about creating heat from composted materials by reading further of this page.

What’s in the compost?
There are a lot of live microorganisms that dwell in a pile or bin of composted materials. These beneficial microbes are actually the ones responsible for breaking down all of the organic refuse into a crumbly, earthy, and nutrient rich substance. These creatures are also the ones that help create the heat from the compost.
Producing heat from compost according to Agrilab technologies
Josh Nelson, the director of AgriLab technologies, has been testing out their expertise in terms of producing heat from composted organic matter. They believe so much in their technology of making compost and capturing heat from it, that they are certain of its power to warm buildings, greenhouses and other constructions. When there’s free heat and energy, then there will be better and more affordable substitutes for commodities such as diesel fuel, oil, and even propane (farmer’s will be less dependent on these resources eventually).
How to compost the Agrilab way
Agrilab technologies function by diverting all of the organic wastes farther from the waste stream. They are actually able to do this by reducing the trash disposals from the landfills. And as this action helps minimize wastes and contaminants, this also brings more materials for composting. The more organic matter there is for the taking, the more heat and energy can be generated from a generous compost pile. Of course, nothing is further wasted, as finished compost can still be used as a medium for fertilizing plants and amending soils.
How to capture heat the Agrilab way
Agrilab technologies made an effective way when it came to capturing the heat from the compost. How did they pull this off? Well, the company was able to develop a system of air channels that will assist in capturing and pulling heat from the composted organic matter, all the way to a series of pipes. They made sure that they created air channels that will be strong enough to hold 6-12 ‘high efficiency heat exchangers’, all the way to a water basin.

Who would have thought that the heat that’s generated from a hot pile of compost was possible enough to boil water from showers, and warm building structures? Believe in this kind of process as it works wonders. Composting not only creates a valuable and nutrient rich resource. It can also produce an energy source that can be completely acquired for free. All you need is a pile of kitchen scraps and garden wastes, and you’re good to go! You can learn more about creating heat from composted materials by reading further of this page.

What’s in the compost?

There are a lot of live microorganisms that dwell in a pile or bin of composted materials. These beneficial microbes are actually the ones responsible for breaking down all of the organic refuse into a crumbly, earthy, and nutrient rich substance. These creatures are also the ones that help create the heat from the compost.

Producing heat from compost according to Agrilab technologies

Josh Nelson, the director of AgriLab technologies, has been testing out their expertise in terms of producing heat from composted organic matter. They believe so much in their technology of making compost and capturing heat from it, that they are certain of its power to warm buildings, greenhouses and other constructions. When there’s free heat and energy, then there will be better and more affordable substitutes for commodities such as diesel fuel, oil, and even propane (farmer’s will be less dependent on these resources eventually).

How to compost the Agrilab way

Agrilab technologies function by diverting all of the organic wastes farther from the waste stream. They are actually able to do this by reducing the trash disposals from the landfills. And as this action helps minimize wastes and contaminants, this also brings more materials for composting. The more organic matter there is for the taking, the more heat and energy can be generated from a generous compost pile. Of course, nothing is further wasted, as finished compost can still be used as a medium for fertilizing plants and amending soils.

How to capture heat the Agrilab way

Agrilab technologies made an effective way when it came to capturing the heat from the compost. How did they pull this off? Well, the company was able to develop a system of air channels that will assist in capturing and pulling heat from the composted organic matter, all the way to a series of pipes. They made sure that they created air channels that will be strong enough to hold 6-12 ‘high efficiency heat exchangers’, all the way to a water basin.

How Christmas tree composting works in the city of San Francisco

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Christmas tree is still a tree, regardless of how it was used. It is a big and chunky natural resource that can still bring forth life, despite being uprooted from the ground for long periods of time. Moreover, it is an organic reserve that has long been used for composting by the city of San Francisco. You can find out how the people of San Francisco handle the process of composting their cast-off conifers by reading more from this page.

The composting process according to Recology
Recology is a garbage company that is stationed in the city. And they’ve been striving to teach communities about recycling in San Francisco. They’ve also been encouraging everyone to not just throw their usual kitchen and yard wastes straight to their bins. They’ve also been asked to include their holiday trees, so that these can be reused and sent out to facilities that concentrate on producing renewable energy.
Now, the company basically owns a few green giant machines that are served with organic refuse. A Christmas tree for example, will be fed to this machine. And this will chew out a constant supply of wood chips directly to a waiting truck.
Treecycling for 25 years now!
This specific city in California has been ‘treecyling’ for more than two decades now. And it certainly goes to show that SFC’s green efforts are displaying both efficiency and progress through the years. With the city’s efforts of recycling their holiday foliage, they’ve also been able to discover other means of producing new energy sources. With the ‘treecycling’ program, SFC has also been able to reuse other organic materials that were usually sent out to dump sites.
What is upcycling?
According to Kevin Danaher, a spokesman for the San Francisco Department of Environment, ‘upcycling’ is ‘taking something out of the waste stream and creating a new product’. This new product then becomes energy. So putting this into perspective, they’ve already managed to collect 78% of the city’s garbage. Just take for example one power company in Nevada that pays off people $1 each for every tree that is sent out for recycling and composting. Although a Christmas tree may have high acid contents for a direct San Francisco composting undertaking, the tree should be shredded first so that the decomposition process won’t take too long (spoils will be prevented). Apart from that, shredded or chopped off trees can certainly do well as wood chips (great energy providers for coals). These are actually great for wood-burning stoves, or even for campfires.

A Christmas tree is still a tree, regardless of how it was used. It is a big and chunky natural resource that can still bring forth life, despite being uprooted from the ground for long periods of time. Moreover, it is an organic reserve that has long been used for composting by the city of San Francisco. You can find out how the people of San Francisco handle the process of composting their cast-off conifers by reading more from this page.

The composting process according to Recology

Recology is a garbage company that is stationed in the city. And they’ve been striving to teach communities about recycling in San Francisco. They’ve also been encouraging everyone to not just throw their usual kitchen and yard wastes straight to their bins. They’ve also been asked to include their holiday trees, so that these can be reused and sent out to facilities that concentrate on producing renewable energy.

Now, the company basically owns a few green giant machines that are served with organic refuse. A Christmas tree for example, will be fed to this machine. And this will chew out a constant supply of wood chips directly to a waiting truck.

Treecycling for 25 years now!

This specific city in California has been ‘treecyling’ for more than two decades now. And it certainly goes to show that SFC’s green efforts are displaying both efficiency and progress through the years. With the city’s efforts of recycling their holiday foliage, they’ve also been able to discover other means of producing new energy sources. With the ‘treecycling’ program, SFC has also been able to reuse other organic materials that were usually sent out to dump sites.

What is upcycling?

According to Kevin Danaher, a spokesman for the San Francisco Department of Environment, ‘upcycling’ is ‘taking something out of the waste stream and creating a new product’. This new product then becomes energy. So putting this into perspective, they’ve already managed to collect 78% of the city’s garbage. Just take for example one power company in Nevada that pays off people $1 each for every tree that is sent out for recycling and composting. Although a Christmas tree may have high acid contents for a direct San Francisco composting undertaking, the tree should be shredded first so that the decomposition process won’t take too long (spoils will be prevented). Apart from that, shredded or chopped off trees can certainly do well as wood chips (great energy providers for coals). These are actually great for wood-burning stoves, or even for campfires.

Residential compost – Get paid for composting!

Monday, February 13th, 2012

There are plenty of ways to make money. You can get into your desired business or simply get into the mode of composting. And yes, you’ve read it right! Creating organic compost using just your kitchen scraps and garden wastes, and containing these inside several composting bins, will certainly help you cash-in on some great rewards. And if you’re lucky, your city might just pay you to compost.

Plymouth City encourages its citizens to compost

The residents of Plymouth City are encouraged to dispose of their food and yard wastes so that these can be composted further (citizens are urged to create more compost). Putting this into perspective, the townsfolk of Plymouth will also get paid if they continued on with this eco-friendly cause. Not only will its people help reduce the amount of trash on their local dumpsites, they will also be partaking in a recycling effort. Now, the city itself is willing to give a $100 grant for those who apply for it. The money can be used for either choice, and that is to buy a ready-made composter, or to build a compost bin of his or her own. Either way, both options are a win-win idea.

To build a compost bin or to plant a garden?

Other than using the $100 grant for buying or building a composter, the money can also be used for setting up a garden. Developing an organic garden will also help you to put into good use the finished compost that will be harvested from the organic wastes that have been broken down. Household scraps such as vegetable peels, old newspapers, crushed eggshells, and even dead foliage can be composted. Moreover, the finished by-product can be immediately used as an organic fertilizer and soil amendment for the garden. It can be used directly on plants without having to burn these. Now, worn out soil that has been supplemented with organic compost will also improve the quality of its composition.

Citywide residential composting programs

Composting (such as vermicomposting, leaf composting, etc.) has become a wide-reaching phenomenon. And it certainly helped revitalize the existing condition of Mother Nature. More cities and towns within the US alone have started to delve into ‘citywide residential composting programs’, to further experience the benefits it brings environmentally and economically. Such programs help communities to divert huge amounts of waste from landfills, as this also helps reduce costs on waste disposals and pick-ups.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Composting Bins

Start your composting journey by picking out the best composter for you. GardenWorms offers some of the most top-notch composting bins. So get your pick from several of the unique creations. For starters, use the Bamboo Compost Pail for kitchen composting, or use the Garden Gourmet Composter for outdoor composting. Moreover, every bin has its unique compositions. So order now to get your fill of these remarkable products!

GardenWorms.com recommends the Composting Bins

Composting of restaurant leftovers at Rancho Cucamonga

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
A ‘win-win’ situation is always a good thing. And several restaurants at Victoria Gardens, such as Lucille’s Barbecue, can certainly confirm to this constant success in their area. Everybody wins as restaurant leftovers are taken cared of by the Burrtec Waste pilot program. A program that effectively handles the conversion of food wastes into a nutrient packed compost (composting expansion is being eyed on the Rancho Cucamonga). This natural process of composting has been implemented to help reduce garbage accumulation from landfills and more.
The collection and use of restaurant scraps
The joint efforts of Lucille’s Barbecue and of the seven other restaurants with Burrtec Waste (like BC Cafe, Chili’s, Panther Cafe at Chaffey College), have gained a lot of benefits from the program. Not only is each of the establishment’s provided with a free-of-charge garbage collection (will run for a free 12-month trial), the entire bulk of their trash is also reduced. Burrtec Waste also gets the opportunity to gather free resources that they can turn into a profitable product soon after.
Proof that there is progress in the waste program
Restaurant leftovers that were collected from Lucille’s Barbecue started out with only 1 container for recyclables, and 3 huge containers for other wastes. This was when the course was just starting out. But after just two months through the program, the eatery began using just one of each (one for recyclable items, and another for their organic scraps). The system has proven itself to be effective as it provided the restaurant at least $500 on savings.
How Burrtec Waste handles the composting of restaurant leftovers
The conversion of restaurant scraps into compost is done at the Fontana waste facility. There are also large piles of food wastes and other organic materials that are left on the ground, which are mixed and covered up altogether. Now, for a three-month timeframe, the compost piles are aerated and watered to keep the compost’s live microbes thriving in the system. Live microbes help keep the compost system aerobic, as they’re also responsible for breaking down the organic materials into finished compost.
Burrtec’s Other Plans for its ‘High-Demand Dirt’
The bulk sale for this ‘high-demand dirt’ has only been marketed to landscapers and businesses. But Burrtec’s plan is to sell this organic compost to a bigger market soon. Expanding the program is in the works, and they plan on composting these restaurant leftovers further at Rancho Cucamonga (for now). Rancho Cucamonga is a suburban city in San Bernardino County, California.
GardenWorms.com recommends the Kitchen Compost Collector
Restaurants aren’t the only ones who can turn their food scraps into rich compost. Even you can do it! Your own kitchen scraps can be converted into an organic fertilizer just by using a Kitchen Compost Collector. It’s ‘made for easy, mess-free scraping of food waste’, and more!
To know more about the product, check the Kitchen Compost Collector here.

A ‘win-win’ situation is always a good thing. And several restaurants at Victoria Gardens, such as Lucille’s Barbecue, can certainly confirm to this constant success in their area. Everybody wins as restaurant leftovers are taken cared of by the Burrtec Waste pilot program. A program that effectively handles the conversion of food wastes into a nutrient packed compost (composting expansion is being eyed on the Rancho Cucamonga). This natural process of composting has been implemented to help reduce garbage accumulation from landfills and more.

The collection and use of restaurant scraps

The joint efforts of Lucille’s Barbecue and of the seven other restaurants with Burrtec Waste (like BC Cafe, Chili’s, Panther Cafe at Chaffey College), have gained a lot of benefits from the program. Not only is each of the establishment’s provided with a free-of-charge garbage collection (will run for a free 12-month trial), the entire bulk of their trash is also reduced. Burrtec Waste also gets the opportunity to gather free resources that they can turn into a profitable product soon after.

Proof that there is progress in the waste program

Restaurant leftovers that were collected from Lucille’s Barbecue started out with only 1 container for recyclables, and 3 huge containers for other wastes. This was when the course was just starting out. But after just two months through the program, the eatery began using just one of each (one for recyclable items, and another for their organic scraps). The system has proven itself to be effective as it provided the restaurant at least $500 on savings.

How Burrtec Waste handles the composting of restaurant leftovers

The conversion of restaurant scraps into compost is done at the Fontana waste facility. There are also large piles of food wastes and other organic materials that are left on the ground, which are mixed and covered up altogether. Now, for a three-month timeframe, the compost piles are aerated and watered to keep the compost’s live microbes thriving in the system. Live microbes help keep the compost system aerobic, as they’re also responsible for breaking down the organic materials into finished compost.

Burrtec’s Other Plans for its ‘High-Demand Dirt’

The bulk sale for this ‘high-demand dirt’ has only been marketed to landscapers and businesses. But Burrtec’s plan is to sell this organic compost to a bigger market soon. Expanding the program is in the works, and they plan on composting these restaurant leftovers further at Rancho Cucamonga (for now). Rancho Cucamonga is a suburban city in San Bernardino County, California.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Kitchen Compost Collector

Restaurants aren’t the only ones who can turn their food scraps into rich compost. Even you can do it! Your own kitchen scraps can be converted into an organic fertilizer just by using a Kitchen Compost Collector. It’s ‘made for easy, mess-free scraping of food waste’, and more!

To know more about the product, check the Kitchen Compost Collector here.

The merits to Community Composting

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Working together as a community helps to accomplish a variety of undertakings. Just like what happens with a Community composting program. Community composting creates not only an environmental awareness. It also fosters a bond between groups of people who continuously pushes for the betterment of their neighborhood.

What to expect from community composting

Typically, most communities will be provided by their respective cities with sturdy containers that will be used for storing compost materials. The compost bin is where a selection of kitchen and yard wastes will be deposited and contained. It basically turns into a storage unit, which helps create an organic resource thereafter. Now, as soon as the process is done (when the finished compost is ready for harvesting), the bin will then be emptied and delivered to a community compost facility.

8,000 Calgary residences try out community composting

Calgary city recently started a pilot project that helped introduce the ways to creating organic compost. Almost 8,000 residences (all residing within Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge, and Southwood) have been given their own free composters in the form of kitchen pails with liners. Compostable yard bags, carts, and other written information were also made available to homeowners who may have questions about the compost production process, pick-up schedules, etc.  The city director of waste and recycling, Dave Griffiths is routing for some good feedback on the project, in hopes that the program will also be a positive one.

More on the Calgary Community Composting program

The city has invested a lot of money. $1.3 million has been allotted to be exact. This already includes the pick-up and collection of compost from communities to the compost facilities (by means of city trucks), the purchase of composters, contracts and campaigns, and so on. Now the residents have not been charged with anything. All they are asked for is to participate in the project, and to help make things happen. Green waste is not a problem. Such projects can encourage groups of people to collect green wastes; and to see such a program as a chance to reap out valuable resources out of it.

Composting green waste at home

The organic refuse that is accumulated daily (typical household trimmings and food scraps) can be composted. Now biodegradable refuse can be made not only into compost, but as mulch as well. But other than that, organic compost can also be used as a plant fertilizer and as a soil amendment (has a good mixture of essential nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon). Composting can actually help create an organic product that will help plants to develop and to increase in yield. It can also aid in improving a worn out soil to spring back to a healthier condition. Soils that have been badly damaged but have been nourished with compost will be able to show improvements in its ability to retain more moisture and nutrients into its system. A healthy soil will also be able to protect plant roots from being rigged by potential diseases.

Benefits of Piggery Composting

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Composting has its many forms. As nature has its ways of making organic refuse into something that can be reused again. Even compost worms are made capable of converting natural wastes into an organic resource that can be both used to supplement garden plants or even farm soils. But one of the most remarkable discovery’s today would be Piggery composting. Pigs have been described to be the ideal cultivators.

Why are pigs considered the ultimate cultivators?
Having a few pigs, or a swine farm at that would be advantageous on your end. Pigs are capable of plowing and turning the earth (pigs even dig into the soil using just their noses), and rooting up weeds. These farm animals will dig beds for you, while they excrete their nutrient rich humus on your farms soils. Just as long as they’re confined in a spacious pen, they will be able to work and move productively on your specified areas.
Pigs love to eat!
Pigs love to eat fresh soil that has been nourished with organic humus (the best kind of soil would be from the areas that aren’t polluted, like the mountains for instance). It’s actually good for their health. So the lesser chemicals there are in the soil, the better health’s these pigs will have. But not only are hogs into consuming fresh dirt. They are also into eating grass, grass roots, tree roots, and a few other organic refuse such as wood, piles of cattle or horse manure. Now the consumption of these natural materials will eventually be excreted into a rich black soil. It’s just like how compost worms do it after a few months of breaking down kitchen scraps and garden wastes. Other than that, the organic matter that the pigs have composted will also contain a rich supply of live microbes. These live microorganisms can also be made into a good food source for the boars.
The value in biosecurity when composting with pigs
Whether it’s potentially acquiring something that is bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral, protecting agricultural animals from these should always be a priority when managing any type of farm. It is for each and everyone’s safety; and that’s why having biosecurity is important. It’s a system that helps protect animals such as pigs from different forms of contagious means (a good example of an outbreak would be swine flu). Aside from these, you can also reinforce your farms’ biosecurity by putting up proper signage for areas that are off-limits. You can also require your personnel and visitors to always wear protective gears such as cleans boots and coveralls when moving on to different locations.
How to keep your swine farm protected through composting
Using pigs to produce organic compost can already help wipe out some of the potential disease epidemics that can be acquired from the farm vicinity. The diseases that can be procured from other farming methods (such as the use of rendering trucks, fuel trucks or other foreign vehicles being entered on farming grounds, etc.) can be eliminated even just through composting with pigs.

Composting has its many forms. As nature has its ways of making organic refuse into something that can be reused again. Even compost worms are made capable of converting natural wastes into an organic resource that can be both used to supplement garden plants or even farm soils. But one of the most remarkable discovery’s today would be Piggery composting. Pigs have been described to be the ideal cultivators.

Why are pigs considered the ultimate cultivators?

Having a few pigs, or a swine farm at that would be advantageous on your end. Pigs are capable of plowing and turning the earth (pigs even dig into the soil using just their noses), and rooting up weeds. These farm animals will dig beds for you, while they excrete their nutrient rich humus on your farms soils. Just as long as they’re confined in a spacious pen, they will be able to work and move productively on your specified areas.

Pigs love to eat!

Pigs love to eat fresh soil that has been nourished with organic humus (the best kind of soil would be from the areas that aren’t polluted, like the mountains for instance). It’s actually good for their health. So the lesser chemicals there are in the soil, the better health’s these pigs will have. But not only are hogs into consuming fresh dirt. They are also into eating grass, grass roots, tree roots, and a few other organic refuse such as wood, piles of cattle or horse manure. Now the consumption of these natural materials will eventually be excreted into a rich black soil. It’s just like how compost worms do it after a few months of breaking down kitchen scraps and garden wastes. Other than that, the organic matter that the pigs have composted will also contain a rich supply of live microbes. These live microorganisms can also be made into a good food source for the boars.

The value in biosecurity when composting with pigs

Whether it’s potentially acquiring something that is bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral, protecting agricultural animals from these should always be a priority when managing any type of farm. It is for each and everyone’s safety; and that’s why having biosecurity is important. It’s a system that helps protect animals such as pigs from different forms of contagious means (a good example of an outbreak would be swine flu). Aside from these, you can also reinforce your farms’ biosecurity by putting up proper signage for areas that are off-limits. You can also require your personnel and visitors to always wear protective gears such as cleans boots and coveralls when moving on to different locations.

How to keep your swine farm protected through composting

Using pigs to produce organic compost can already help wipe out some of the potential disease epidemics that can be acquired from the farm vicinity. The diseases that can be procured from other farming methods (such as the use of rendering trucks, fuel trucks or other foreign vehicles being entered on farming grounds, etc.) can be eliminated even just through composting with pigs.

Ingredients that are Good for your Compost

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The act of composting not only produces the richest kind of fertilizer known to date. It is also a natural process that aids in keeping the earth a garbage-less place. Now, compost only becomes nutrient-packed solely for the reason that the ingredients used for creating it are all organic materials. This composting by-product contains natural matter that is filled with nitrogen, carbon, and several other nutrients and elements.

Microbes thrive on compost
The production of compost can either be done through plain composting or by means of vermicomposting (creates compost with the help of red worms). Either way the creation of compost is predominantly done by live microbes. They are in fact, the ones that are mainly responsible for breaking down decaying organic substances. Now, live microorganisms thrive abundantly in a system that includes the most important of elements. Other than their need for nitrogen and carbon-rich materials, microbes also require oxygen, heat, and moisture to be able to work productively.
Compost ingredients that are high in nitrogen
Compost is mainly composed of a balance of nitrogen and carbon rich matter; and a balanced mixture aids in the microorganisms proper breakdown of organic scraps. Moreover, the addition of water into the mix also helps expedite the process of decomposition. But other than that, organic wastes that are high in nitrogen are typically green in shade. These items are mostly high in protein, amino acids, nucleic acids, and enzymes; and are typically composed of green tree leaves, weeds, grass clippings, plant cuttings, (can also be collected from your backyard, garden), fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds (an exception to color), and the like. Now, for an additional fact: if there isn’t enough nitrogen in the compost system, the process will have a slower turnover.
Compost ingredients that are high in carbon
Carbon-packed organic scraps are actually those that are dry and brown in color. These can be in the form of dead leaves (autumn leaves can be a good example), twigs or bark, sawdust or woodchips, straw, mixed paper (composting worms love gorging on newspapers and corrugated cardboards), and so on.
The importance of heat, oxygen, and moisture in a composting system
For you to be able to create a nutrient-packed compost, you will also need to incorporate heat, oxygen, and moisture. Even if you’ve got an abundant supply of nitrogen and carbon materials, you will still need these three other components to be able to harvest a well-converted finished product. Heat is necessary when composting as this keeps the beneficial organisms from dying. Oxygen on the other hand helps speed up the process. Then again, a compost system may also go without it. The only setback to this would be a slow down in the process as well as the creation of smelly odors. Other than that, moisture is also a key element. The best consistency for your system is actually that of a wrung out sponge.
GardenWorms.com recommends offering your compost a balance of nutrients
Providing your compost with a balanced mix of nutrients, such as those that are high in nitrogen and carbon, will help you reap a wholesome finished product. So collect all of the ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ that can be gathered from your kitchen and yard, and start composting these today!
To know more about offering your compost a balance of nutrients, check theadvertiser.com here.

The act of composting not only produces the richest kind of fertilizer known to date. It is also a natural process that aids in keeping the earth a garbage-less place. Now, compost only becomes nutrient-packed solely for the reason that the ingredients used for creating it are all organic materials. This composting by-product contains natural matter that is filled with nitrogen, carbon, and several other nutrients and elements.

Microbes thrive on compost

The production of compost can either be done through plain composting or by means of vermicomposting (creates compost with the help of red worms). Either way the creation of compost is predominantly done by live microbes. They are in fact, the ones that are mainly responsible for breaking down decaying organic substances. Now, live microorganisms thrive abundantly in a system that includes the most important of elements. Other than their need for nitrogen and carbon-rich materials, microbes also require oxygen, heat, and moisture to be able to work productively.

Compost ingredients that are high in nitrogen

Compost is mainly composed of a balance of nitrogen and carbon rich matter; and a balanced mixture aids in the microorganisms proper breakdown of organic scraps. Moreover, the addition of water into the mix also helps expedite the process of decomposition. But other than that, organic wastes that are high in nitrogen are typically green in shade. These items are mostly high in protein, amino acids, nucleic acids, and enzymes; and are typically composed of green tree leaves, weeds, grass clippings, plant cuttings, (can also be collected from your backyard, garden), fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds (an exception to color), and the like. Now, for an additional fact: if there isn’t enough nitrogen in the compost system, the process will have a slower turnover.

Compost ingredients that are high in carbon

Carbon-packed organic scraps are actually those that are dry and brown in color. These can be in the form of dead leaves (autumn leaves can be a good example), twigs or bark, sawdust or woodchips, straw, mixed paper (composting worms love gorging on newspapers and corrugated cardboards), and so on.

The importance of heat, oxygen, and moisture in a composting system

For you to be able to create a nutrient-packed compost, you will also need to incorporate heat, oxygen, and moisture. Even if you’ve got an abundant supply of nitrogen and carbon materials, you will still need these three other components to be able to harvest a well-converted finished product. Heat is necessary when composting as this keeps the beneficial organisms from dying. Oxygen on the other hand helps speed up the process. Then again, a compost system may also go without it. The only setback to this would be a slow down in the process as well as the creation of smelly odors. Other than that, moisture is also a key element. The best consistency for your system is actually that of a wrung out sponge.

GardenWorms.com recommends offering your compost a balance of nutrients

Providing your compost with a balanced mix of nutrients, such as those that are high in nitrogen and carbon, will help you reap a wholesome finished product. So collect all of the ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ that can be gathered from your kitchen and yard, and start composting these today!

Question: How to Get to your “Done” Compost?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

You’ve been layering your greens and brown organic material into your compost bin for months. The pH is perfect, the temperature is consistent and the worms are happily munching away making that loamy, rich compost you’re doing all this for. Now what? You top layers are full of the stuff you just dumped in, and you have no idea how to get to that compost at the bottom without mucking up your perfectly-placed layers.

Don’t forget the other important step of composting. Turning your bin. No, we don’t mean the bin itself, but those layers of materials that you have so painstakingly accumulated from your yard and kitchen scraps.

To turn your compost to get to the done, or even almost done, compost, take a pitchfork and stick in down low in the bin and turn the mass over, flip it bottom to top. Keep doing that until you have access to the bulk of your bottom materials and remove. You can let the compost continue to season in a corner or your garden or yard until the consistency is that of soil.

Another option is to buy a compost bin that flips over, so you can remove your compost from the bin with little effort, and less disturbance to your layers. The Urban Composter is just such a model.

Remember, keep turning that mass until you can get to the compost you want. Then leave the rest and continue on layering your way to rich compost for your yard and garden.

Delicious Uses for Compost: More Companies Take the Waste from Restaurants

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Think of all the times you left remainders of your meal on your plate at a restaurant, and multiply that by all the people that go out to eat every day and what do you see? That’s right, piles and pounds of food scraps. Where do they normally end up? That’s right – in your local dumpsite. Did you know that the gases given off by food scraps can be as harmful to the ozone layer as those given off by our cars?

Thankfully, a recent trend is making better use of all that food waste, to the betterment of our environment. In a recent article by The Associated Press on USAToday.com, restaurants are finding a way to save money and the environment at the same time, by composting local restaurant food scraps.

“’ The restaurant business is an incredibly wasteful business,” says Peter Egelston, owner of PortsmouthBrewery restaurant in Portsmouth, N.H. “We generally put more food in front of people than they can eat in one sitting. If it’s not going home in a doggie bag, it seems like we should send it where it will have new life.’

Two years ago Egelston’s brewery began composting with the help of EcoMovement, a company that hauls food waste from about 40 restaurants in the region and takes it to be composted.

Composting — a natural process in which food and other organic scraps are decomposed into fertile soil — has long been a mainstay of farms and backyards. But few restaurants have the space or time to compost their own waste. They typically pay to have it disposed of in landfills along with the rest of their trash.

But as communities have struggled to reduce their waste, pressure has mounted on the restaurant industry to do its part.

‘A few things changed,” says Michael Oshman, CEO of the Green Restaurant Association. “Cities in California passed laws requiring some level of waste reduction. To attack waste reduction without looking at food is like having a heart patient come in to the doctor and not talk to them about exercise and diet. So cities like San Francisco begin composting. They demonstrate it’s doable and others follow their lead.’

San Francisco began a pilot composting program in 1996, which quickly expanded. In 2001, officials made composting available city-wide on a voluntary basis; it became mandatory in 2009, including for the city’s more than 5,000 restaurants. Since 1996, the city has composted more than 835,000 tons of food scraps.

Since then, other cities — including Seattle — have passed similar laws that mandate composting. But desire isn’t enough. To compost, you either need to have a place to put food waste — and the time to tend to it — or arrange for it to be taken to a farm or composting facility.”

Read the entire article here.

As the trends towards commercial-level composting continues to grow, the reality that the progress needs to continue really begins to settle in. The adoption of compost as a way to manage most of our yard and food waste is really the only answer to the exceptional amount of garbage we create all over the planet if we want to slow down the climate change issues we are facing.

Managing the Details of Bulk Composting: The “Sweet” Smell of Eco-Friendly Success

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

In a recent article from The Virginia Pilot, a local waste management company has found a solution to the odorous, if planet-friendly problem of composting yard waste for multiple communities. As anyone with a compost bin knows, the smell of organic materials being processed can be unpalatable to some, but no different than the smell of a local farm , and certainly not as pungent as a dump site.

That being said, communities in the Norfolk, VA region recently saw a change in the chain of command of their community composting efforts when their previous vendor, the Southeastern Public Service Authority, was replaced with a private company, McGill Environmental Systems when SPSA stepped down due to complaints about fees and their practice of burying the waste into a local landfill in lieu of composting it.

According to the article, “The company, based in North Carolina and with operations in Ireland, now handles yard waste from Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Isle of Wight County, as well as organic waste from clients including Smithfield Foods, Birdsong Peanuts, Lipton Tea, Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, the Virginia Beach Convention Center and the College of William and Mary.”

“Broom was surprised by how Virginia – and the United States in general – has not embraced composting the way Europe has.

“Composting has the potential to recycle 70 percent of the world’s wastes,” he says, “but we somehow don’t do it.”

Finding a location for a new compost center is usually difficult – except here, where there were no neighbors to contest plans and worry about odors, and because Sussex County welcomed a new, tax-paying business within its borders.

In Ireland, where McGill’s president, Noel Lyons, hails from, composting is done entirely indoors – to control smells and because open land is so scare.

“We could never do in Ireland what we do here,” Broom says.

The McGill facility in Waverly contains indoor and outdoor curing areas, and today it generates about 175,000 tons of compost a year, according to company literature.

Broom says the company’s “secret weapon” is a labyrinth of underground pipes beneath the indoor facility that blows air into stewing piles of organic material, all alive with microscopic growth that is so active that it creates heat (hence, all the steam).”

The move towards public composting continues as private companies like McGill Environmental Systems continue to turn the waste management industry towards ecologically-friendly practices. It is the effort of companies like this that will make composting a norm and not an anomaly across the US.