While Ecotone Renewables’ work focuses on anaerobic decomposition technology to recapture waste nutrients, the common person can find easy success with aerobic decomposition in their own backyard. The way to achieve this is through composting. Composting can seem to be a very complicated process, but the idea is simple: to close the food loop. Food grows from the Earth, and through composting it can return to the Earth. If done successfully, composting can leave you with fertile soil to add to your garden which can then grow flowers, plants, and food. Not only will you be eliminating food waste, but if you choose to grow your own food, you will be growing food from the decomposed material of your previous food, and you won’t have to buy more produce!
Composting can be tricky, but it can be accessible to everyone, regardless of your living conditions. If you have a backyard, or any sort of outdoor space, you can create your own compost pile. If you live in an apartment or surrounded by a concrete jungle, composting on your own may not be so plausible. Fortunately, there are many people who can compost and are willing to take your scraps! Be sure to keep your scraps in a tin with a lid to eliminate the odor of old food scraps from seeping throughout your entire home. If you don’t have a friend who composts themselves, reach out to a farmer’s market or local farm and ask if they would like to take it for their own compost. Practically every city has compost pickups and quick google search can find you a pickup service in your area. Check out www.compostnow.org to find services near you. It just takes a little searching and reaching out but finding someone to take your scraps instead of the landfill is certainly doable for everyone!
For those of you who do have the green space and the desire to compost, be sure to do your research, or you will create a tiny food landfill of your own, creating nothing but an insect café. The most important concept when composting is to make sure your compost pile is composed of 50% “greens” and 50% “browns.” You can have a functioning compost of all greens, but adding browns will optimize the process. Greens include: grass, eggshells, veggie scraps, and anything with color. As for browns, this includes: leaves, hay, cardboard, and cotton, linen, and wool. The reason behind having an equal split between these two categories is because they perform different jobs for the compost. The “greens” add heat while the “browns” add bulk, air flow, and a ‘habitat’ for decomposition. The heat from the “greens” allows for quicker decomposition but also a quicker elimination of pathogens and potential weed seeds. In addition to maintaining equal distribution of greens and browns, there are 3 major conditions a compost pile needs to work.
- Proper Pile Size: Pallets or scrap wood can be great structural bases to build a pile, that should start with at least 3 feet on all 4 sides.
- Sufficient Air Movement: be sure to ‘turn’ the pile every 14 days. This allows for the oxygenation necessary for aerobic decomposition. Be sure to let your pile sit for at least 2 weeks or a month before turning it.
- Sufficient Water Availability: Poke deep holes and pour in water if the pile does not receive adequate rain fall
By paying attention to what you put in your compost pile, turning it every 2 weeks for proper aeration, and proper watering, your composting will help reduce food waste from the landfill and ultimately the atmosphere!!
**Complete decomposition into soil will take a few months**
**Do not put any dairy or meat products in your compost**