Have you ever tried to compost something? The truth is that compost helps soil retain moisture and encourages the growth of good bacteria in your items. Thanks to compost and its application, you can completely stop using fertilizers or at least reduce their use. This will save you a lot of money but will also encourage you to do something good for the earth itself!
In fact, you will stop leaving a carbon footprint. Did you know that if you compost continually, the volume of garbage you generate can be reduced by as much as 25%! Keep on reading to find out all there’s to it and figure out if it is for you.
How long does it take for kitchen waste to compost? Top 6 key facts to understand.
1. Look at the size of your bin
The bigger the compost bin, the faster you will do the compost. With this process, you will probably struggle to compost smaller items because you want a mesh of things for retaining moisture. You should cut or chop the used material depending on the time you want your compost finished and store it quickly and evenly. So, how big is your compost bin? If you can get yourself high-quality and durable bin from the get-go. No reason to re-invest in something over and over again.
2. Foods that go
The market for compost is a highly talked about topic these days worldwide. Did you know that supermarkets, restaurants, and schools produce 16 million tons of commercial organic waste?! If you yourself wish to be eco-aware start finding the perfect solution with compost. Food scraps like uncooked fruits and veggies should be your go-to compost foods. Pre-consumer food waste is the easiest to compost since it tends to break down quickly and easily. Here are some foods and ingredients that you should go for:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Herbs & spices
- Eggs & nuts
- Coffee grounds
- Grass or lawn mowing
- Animal food
3. Foods that don’t go
The truth is that some composts are a lot more desirable than others, and some items are a big no-no. A general rule is that it can take anywhere from 6 months to three years for your items to rot down and become soil-like. Foods that will decompose at a lot slower rate are:
- Dairy products
- Plastic or synthetic fibers
- Cooked leftover foods
- A big no-no is coal ashes or glass
However, everything varies based on your collected materials, weather conditions, and temperatures. For some people, it can take anywhere between 6 weeks to several months for your compost to be ready. If you are inexperienced try asking for help from someone who has a farm or has been composting for years.
4. How long will you have to wait for compost?
It is not a universal solution as we just explained, nor a one-answer-fits-all type of thing. The way you approach it will make an impact on the final outcome. Key facts that are important to understand are:
- Look at the quality and selection of materials that you put in your bin
- How frequently do you plan on turning the pile (the more the better)
- The surface area of used material
- Where you store your bin (it needs natural light)
- The size of your compost pile (the bigger the better)
- You should cut or chop the used material depending on the time you want your compost finished
5. Make sure to keep it warm
Heat is crucial for this process, which is why a lot of people begin to compost during the spring season for best results. You will need bacteria to be happy and active, and trying to do that in the fall or winter is more than a challenge, especially if you live somewhere where it tends to snow or rain often. Compost should be moist and protected in the winter with straw materials or hay on top. Turn the pile every week with a pitchfork to let it breathe if you can. If you can, turn the pile inside out so that oxygen gets to it and that bacteria sees some sunlight.
6. How to know when it is ready
The time it takes for compost to finish is not the same at all times. However, do some investigation yourself and inspect it by looking at its texture and scent (aim for earth, ground-like color). If you can approach it as regular soil, it is good to go! Do not utilize it till it is mature and good to go. If the situation does not look its best and if it still not ready you can speed up the process by doing the following two steps yourself:
Step 1: if your compost is 3×3 you can shred it down. Flip it around for 2 weeks to get the oxygen flowing and to speed up the process.
Step 2: if you are not easily grossed out, aim for maggots! Black soldier fly larvae can survive in hot temperatures and will handle your pile in no time.
Where to begin?
For rookies or newbies, this process can seem a bit overwhelming at first. The truth is that it is not too hard to do, it just requires patience and the right approach. Aside from following these 6 crucial key steps, we also advise that you find a bin that is high-quality and can suit your at-home use. Try doing something small and practical before you move onto the huge outdoor approach. Check out Alasaw and their wood countertop compost bin. You will find wood countertops, petite countertops, or replacement bins and covers on their site. Adding an artful touch to your kitchen countertop, this discreet yet stylish compost bin will hold organic waste with ease. Give them a click and see for yourself.