In the UK and elsewhere there is a ‘Home Compostable' Certification Scheme which helps people compost more at home.
Has it ever struck you that, as an environmentally aware person who is keen on sustaining the environment and to act responsibly as a householder and citizen generally, there is a lot of packaging you use. Much of that probably could be safely composted in your yard/garden compost heap. However, you are unsure which?
This may even be a heap which you already use for peelings, carrot tops, kitchen scrapings etc., but a lot of material goes in the residual waste bin unnecessarily. This is where the ‘Home Compostable' Certification Scheme is intended to help us.
How to Compost: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide
Here are the basic steps for easy composting at home: Collect compostable material like food scraps and yard waste.
Eventually, those organic materials will break down and create compost pretty much whatever you do, but it is much cleaner, faster, and more effective knowing the proper step-by-step guide.
1. Choose Your Compost Bin
You can use either an open pile or a compost bin. The size and type of bin you purchase or build will depend on how much compostable material you generate.
2. Choose Your Location
You should choose a location which is flat, well-drained and sunny. Most importantly you should find a convenient location. If it is in the back of your yard will you be willing to trudge through the snow to get to it in the middle of winter?
Collect your kitchen compostables in a container in your kitchen. Find a handy place to store this container – on the counter, under the sink or in the freezer. When it is full, empty its contents into the compost bin.
3. Start Composting
Start with a layer of course materials (like twigs) to allow for drainage and aeration. Cover this layer with leaves. Then simply alternate between layers of greens materials (nitrogen-rich material) and browns (carbon-rich material).
Whenever you add food scraps or yard waste, be sure to top it with a layer of browns. If you do not add browns, your compost will be wet and break down more slowly. If possible, collect and store dry leaves in old garbage in the autumn so you can use them in your compost all year round.
Depending on the type of compost bin or pile you have chosen there may be specific ways of adding and maintaining compost. Most of the composters you purchase come with instructions. Follow those instructions for best results.
4. Continue to Add Scraps as the Pile Gradually Sinks Down
When you add fresh material, be sure to mix it in with the lower layers. Materials should be as wet as a rung-out sponge. Add dry materials or water – whichever is needed – to reach this moisture level.
5. Turn the Pile Once a Week
Mix or turn the compost once a week to help the breakdown process and eliminate odour.
6. Recognize When the Compost is Finished
Finished compost will be dark, crumbly, and smell like earth. You should be able to have finished compost within four to six months of starting your bin.
7. Move and Spread Finished Compost
The finished compost will end up at the top of the bin or compost pile. Remove all the finished compost from the bin, leaving unfinished materials in the bin to continue decomposing. Be sure the decomposition process is complete before you use your compost; otherwise, microbes in the compost could take nitrogen from the soil and harm plant growth.
The compost guide from a natural products store, warns that you should not compost glossy paper or paper with colored ink.
Why Is Composting Important? Reasons to Compost
After repeating layers, you need to do important work, for fast composting. You need to add a 3 to 4 cm layer of compost or partially decomposed compost.
In addition, incineration and landfilling were modelled as alternatives to home composting. The most important processes contributing to the environmental impact of home composting were identified as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (load) and the avoided emissions in relation to the substitution of fertiliser and peat when compost was used in hobby gardening (saving).
An important way to start is by bringing composting to more cities, businesses, and schools.
Composting 101: Compost Basics
Here you will find composting basics that include how to start composting, the best methods for composting, how to use compost, and other helpful compost facts.
The basics of composting are simple. Most people know they can compost fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, and grass clippings.
Additional compost workshops are available throughout Santa Clara county. Here is a list of all the 2020 workshops for ‘compost basics’ and ‘worm composting basics’ workshops.
Compostable Materials: List of What to Put in the Compost
And, if compostable packaging is put into the recycling stream, it can contaminate all the other materials, meaning that the whole batch cannot be recycled.
Additionally, if compostable packaging is put into the recycling stream, it can contaminate all the other materials, meaning that the whole batch cannot be recycled.
Ideas for Improving Home Compost
But that doesn’t mean that the composts they produce aren’t useful! in fact, worm castings are specifically sought out by most home gardeners, and bokashi can be extremely effective at fertilizing your planting areas or improving clay soils.
You can find composting information, guides, tips, and ideas on our website to help you maintain a healthy home environment.
Improving your soil is the first step towards growing healthy plants. More information is available by requesting recycling yard trimmings: home composting, il 48.
How to Use Compost in the Garden
A biodegradable and compostable product is suitable to be recovered through biological recycling (thus composting and anaerobic digestion) together with kitchen and garden waste, leaving no harmful residues.
Aside from the initial setup, the cost of composting should be minimal to none. You should use less plastic trash bags with greatly reduced waste amounts, and you'll also be creating material that benefits your garden.
As for the biodegradable trash, you can use it for your compost pile to put in your garden. How will you get rid of your biodegradable trash, when you don't have a garden to justify having a compost pile? supposedly, there is a law for your biodegradable trash to be collected with no plastic bag.
How to Compost: The Ultimate Guide to Composting
You’ve just stumbled upon the ultimate guide for how to start composting! creating your own compost for organic gardening is a must.
There are certain things we just cannot compost, nor should we. In this composting guide, we will address the ingredients we should avoid and the ones that are fair game.
Composting: a guide to making compost at home. Composting fundamentals: how to make organic compost, build your own composter or buy one online.
Step 1: Collect Compostable Material Like Food Scraps and Yard Waste
In the European Union, separate collection of bio-waste, including yard waste, food/kitchen scraps, and in some cases, compostable packaging, will be mandatory by the end of 2023.
Then start layering on your food scraps, yard waste, and other compostables. Interested in making your own outdoor compost bin? here are 45 ideas using different materials, from wood pallets to garbage cans.
How Composting Helps the Environment
Using compost as mulch will also benefit plants by keeping roots cooler. • composting helps the environment by recycling valuable organic resources and extending the lifetime of our landfills.
Plus, adding backyard composting to your garden helps with water retention, suppresses plant diseases, and promotes the health of animals within the environment.
Compost activator for hot composting: this mix of fungi, bacteria, and nutrients helps to kickstart your compost pile, especially good if you're working with soil or an environment that has been treated with chemicals and have created an imbalance in your ecosystem.
How Compost Helps Garden Soil & Plant
Use it for indoor plant growth. Even if you don’t have outdoor space (or very limited space), your compost can and should be used for indoor plant growing! mix your compost with soil as you pot your container gardens to give your plants an extra boost of nutrients! you can continue to add compost to your plants as a way to keep them healthy.
The compost helps the soil retain more moisture and provides food for the growing plants.
Compost is the single most important supplement you can give your garden. It’s a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus to your lawn or garden that fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil.
Back to the Compost Basics
More than you think!. Here are the basics of what to compost: vegetable waste, fruit scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags (remove the staple!), shredded paper (not glossy), paper towels (so long as they don’t have any chemicals/oils on them), leaves, branches, and twigs.
To learn home composting basics, visit the Santa Clara county composting education program website.
Time to get down to the composting basics. Many composters choose to build a compost bin to keep pests and animals away and to protect the pile from heavy rain.
What Not to Put in the Compost
The perfect site for your bin is on the soil in a sunny area. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs ensure theres a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom so the worms and other creatures can colonize. If this is likely to be a problem, then you should consider building a small raised bed filled with soil to put your compost bin on.
1. Dog and cat poo.
2. Citrus peels because they have natural chemicals and an acidity level that kills worms and other microorganisms.
3. Bread, as it will smell, may draw pests and insects.
4. Eggs are another item that attracts pests, so don't compost them.
5. Not paper or card treated with a plastic-like coating, creating a bright and glossy look.
6. Wood that is pressure-treated, varnished, stained, painted, or pressure-treated, it's not safe to add to your compost pile.
7. Avoid meat or fish scraps into your bin, don’t try composting dead animals.
8. Virginia creeper or diseased squash plants can quickly turn into a serious problem.
9. Old clothing or linens, as these can be harmful to a healthy compost.
10. Nothing which might perpetuate disease or inadvertently introduce invasive plants.
Adding only safe ingredients to your compost means you’ll end up with a healthy, nutrient-dense, finished compost that will enrich your garden and lead to a more abundant harvest.
Types of Backyard Composting
Discover the basics of backyard composting, composting with worms and grasscycling. Become familiar with tools, types of bins and the ins and outs of recycling yard trimmings, garden waste, and even some food scraps.
Matted Material in Compost
You will turn your compost pile from the outside in about once a week. It reintroduces oxygen and helps break up organic material that may have matted with time.
If using a portable composter, make sure it has a cover that will discourage the entry of pests and animals.
Along with yard materials, certain food scraps can also be easily composted at home. Be sure to follow recommendations on what types of food scraps can be composted at home in order to prevent odors and avoid attracting animals and other pests.
In the UK there are thought to be millions of homeowners that have compost heaps (or bins) nowadays, and the most environmentally sustainable method of disposing of organic waste is of course to keep it at home and use it for the benefit of the consumer’s own garden.
Is the rising cost of food and the realisation of the improved flavour of really fresh homegrown produce, sending you in common with many others, back into the garden to grow food? Have you actually succeeded in obtaining an allotment? In which case, along with many scores of others, you are rediscovering the joys of growing your own food, and this is for you.
What “Certified Compostable” Means
The UK based, Association for Organics Recycling (AFOR) recently launched (on 22 February 2011) a ‘Home Compostable' certification scheme, geared principally to the UK market.
The idea is that many products will, under this scheme, be provided with a clear and easily recognisable ‘Home Compostable' message on the packaging. This should encourage householders to home compost them instead of putting these items in their organics, dry-recyclable, or residual waste bins for collection at the kerbside. This has long been something many people would like to do, but until now were not confident to do so. For example, some food wrapping film is home compostable – but how do you know which?
Biodegradable Products Institute – Certified Compostable
It is true that ‘home compostable' packaging / plastic waste can be commercially composted, but this is a net cost on the rates. The local municipal solid waste disposal department does not get this service for free – far from it.
Cost, in this case, indicates that resources are being used over and above the value of the commercial compost products produced from commercial composting. Thus, the sustainability of commercial municipal composting is lower than the correct yard/ home composting.
Composting is in Your Future!
So, this new AfOR scheme is a win-win! That's because the certification mark will direct this material into home composting bins, which will help to reduce the resources, costs, and carbon-related impacts associated with kerbside collection, treatment, and disposal of our organic household wastes.
AfOR now operates, with European co-partners, two packaging and product certification schemes covering the EN 13432 standard for ‘Industrially Compostable' and the Belgian criteria for ‘Home Compostable'.
The ‘Industrially Compostable' standard EN 13432 has been established in Europe since 2000 and can be claimed for packaging products that meet its requirements. However, this standard's biodegradation test uses laboratory-scale composting conditions that are equivalent to industrial conditions rather than home composting ones. This provides the opportunity now being pushed forward by AfOR for appropriate types of bio-based products to be recognised as ‘Home Compostable'.
Jeremy Jacobs, AfOR's Managing Director, said
“We have responded to calls for the development of a UK based certification scheme for ‘Home Compostable' packaging and products. Our new partnership with AIB Vinçotte in Belgium means that this new scheme uses the same ‘home compostable' criteria established by our partner 8 years ago and that any product certified under this scheme can also carry AIB Vinçotte's ‘OK compost HOME' certification mark.”
The addition of the latter mark could be appropriate for products marketed for use in the UK and Belgium, and to any other country where that mark is already widely recognised.
Working with WRAP on development, AfOR's ‘Home Compostable' certification mark is in keeping with the already established On-Pack Recycling Label Scheme, a WRAP-initiated scheme with broad buy-in amongst packaging manufacturers and retailers in the UK.
Further details about the new AfOR-Vinçotte certification scheme for ‘Home Compostable' packaging and plastic products can be found on AfOR's website: http://www.organics-recycling.org.uk/.