One of my friends recently started a backyard compost heap and raved to me about how much they’ve decreased their load at the curb on garbage day.
Welcome to the wonderful world of composting, I told her. Where you don’t have to feel guilty when a vegetable rots in your fridge before you have a chance to use it because you know it will get a second life creating rich new soil in your compost bin.
According to Denver’s 5280 magazine: Fifty-seven percent of Denverites’ garbage is organic material, which breaks down anaerobically (without air) inside plastic garbage bags at the landfill, creating methane, a greenhouse gas that can remain in the atmosphere for decades and exacerbate climate change.
Composting is as easy as keeping a lidded bin next to your sink. Instead of scraping non-meat table scraps down the in-sink disposal (and adding to the layer of sludge in the public sewer systems), divert anything that is non-animal product into the bin. When the bin is full, dump it into your main compost bin.
You can get anything from an indoor composter to a suspended spinning barrel to something more like a corral. My husband built our first compost bin out of two-by-fours and metal fastenings from the hardware store that allowed the cross-boards to be louvered for air flow.
The one we have now in our tiny, postage-stamp sized back yard is round.
There is a formula for composting as you add dried leaves, etc. to complete the mix. Here’s more info on composting.
The best part comes when you mix your homemade compost with soil and watch your plants thrive, although the satisfaction of greeting trash day with a single bag of non-organic refuse for the week comes close.