Adventures in Apartment Composting
Rotting stuff is easy.
I live in a itty bitty urban apartment with a teeny tiny patio. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve tried to use the patio for many things like a nice hangout spot (too hot) or a tiny vegetable garden (I failed). So far the only things the patio has been successfully used for is a fighting ring for the local raccoons and my compost.
My compost is a large, opaque Rubbermaid container that I drilled a ton of holes in. Super high tech. I found that it composts better if raised a few inches off the ground. I feel like if I were a better scientist I would say with confidence that it’s because the soil needs air circulation and drainage, but I’m a bad scientist so take that at face value. What I DO know is that it’s good to have a good mixture of high organic material (food) and higher nitrogen matierial (dead leaves or grass). Here in the City of Trees, I do that by grabbing a handful of dead leaves that have drifted into my yard and throwing them in the bin every few weeks. Yeah, science, bitch.
Mostly, any organic material eventually wants to become dirt so don’t really worry about technique if you’re not in a hurry to get usable soil. The only thing you need to know is that things that are considered compostable in an industrial outfit are often not going to compost in your backyard. Do not compost meat, dairy, or oily foods in your backyard. This website is a great reference in case you’re wondering “Can I compost this?“.
via Adventures in Apartment Composting | Wasteless Year.
By Melissa A. Shuck
Organic matter is the soil fix-all. If your soils are too dense, add organic matter. If your soils are too sandy, add organic matter. If your soil dries out too fast, add organic matter. If your soils are too basic, add organic matter. If your earthworm population is low, add organic matter. If you have too many weeds, add organic matter on top.
If you just let the leaves accumulate on your grass, the grass would be blocked of sunlight and die back – no good. If you put it around your flower beds, it would pick up and fly to your neighbor’s yard. Also, no good. What to do?
Compost it. Some cities have compost programs where they do it for their residence for free or with little charge, however if this is not an option for you, then you can do it yourself and even reap some side benefits.
Making compost is similar in many ways to making bread. You need the right mixture of ingredients, you have to knead it every once in a while, and you can tell it’s about done by the smell. Like bread, the reason it works is due to microbes. The heat of the microbes chowing down cooks it at 150 degrees. Placed strategically, it can add a little warmth to other things.
Read more here: http://www.sidneydailynews.com/news/news_agricultural/151364644/Leaves-nuts-sticks-ideal-for-composting
Smoke rises from a wasteland as the sound of pitchforks hits the earth. Piles of decay are turned, stoked and fed. The crisp winter air chills those gathered as a long stemmed thermometer inserted into the muck reads 140 degrees.
“That’s a good sign,” noted Eddie Shaw.
Thrice weekly, Shaw and other composters travel to Braddock, the once-towering steel city, to help out urban gardening projects back in Pittsburgh. Remnants of the borough’s facade remain, as the Edgar Thomson Steel Works backdrops those gathered. With the still-operating steel mill humming, the visiting composters set to work.
Shaw heads over to the rear of a borrowed pickup truck. Resting atop the bed are multiple 18-gallon plastic tubs. He unloads the receptacles and opens a lid. Inside he finds gourds, avocados and leafy greens. Aryn Gaslowitz, another composter, explains that the unwanted scraps were collected a day earlier from the East End Food Co-op.
Shaw dumps the food waste into long brown piles resting above the earth. He and Gaslowitz are joined by Jeff Newman, owner of Steel City Soils; the three take pitchforks to the piles and continue the composting process.
Read more: The Jewish Chronicle – Composting in Braddock brings life amid decay
Huge amount of food get wasted in restaurants and hotels everyday in the national capital. This is a serious concern for a country like India, where many poor starve to death. To check this wastage, the New Delhi Municipal Council has taken a new technological initiative to convert organic waste into compost for agricultural and horticultural use.
Towards this direction, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Solid Waste Management Organic Waste to Compost Process System at Malcha Marg Market on Friday.
This system named as ‘Foodie’ converts all organic waste of hotels and eateries into compost for horticulture and agriculture use.
While addressing the gathering Naidu said, ” I appreciate this new modern technological effort which is also an eco-friendly solution and this project is a step towards Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.”
“It will save the cost of collection, transportation and disposable of waste and will also reduce the landfill space which will contribute in controlling air and water pollution in Delhi,” he continued.
Read more here: http://www.iamin.in/en/new-delhi/news/foodie-malcha-marg-market-converts-organic-waste-compost-49753