Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Benefits of composting include:
Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.
Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter. All composting requires three basic ingredients:
Browns - This includes materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs.
Greens - This includes materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.
Water - Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development.
Composting 101 Webinar
The Conservation Foundation has prepared a webinar recording which provides an overview of composting basics.