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Backyard and Worm Composting


How to Compost Backyard and Worm Composting Why Compost Composting Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Organic material in landfills creates methane and leachate. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Backyard and Worm Composting

How to Compost
  • Backyard and Worm Composting

Why Compost
  • Composting Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
  • Organic material in landfills creates methane and
  • Finished compost sequesters carbon and supports
    healthy plants.
  • Composting turns waste products into a valuable
  • Compost is a beneficial soil amendment that
    reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides
    and uses water more efficiently.
  • Composting reduces trash volume which can lower
    trash hauling fees, reduce air pollution and
    reduce wear and tear on roads.
  • Lots of waste is compostable
  • Food scraps accounts for 13.9 of the waste
  • Yard trimmings accounts for 13.4 of the waste

US EPA Municipal Solid Waste Generation,
Recycling, and Disposal in the United States
Facts and Figures for 2010
How to Backyard Compost
  • Make or buy a compost bin.
  • place in a convenient spot near water
  • Throw in kitchen scraps and yard waste.
  • Mix it up with a pitchfork or shovel once in
    awhile. Add a little water.

Composting Ingredients
  • Successful compost piles are comprised of two
    basic materials
  • Greens/Nitrogen vegetable scraps, fruit,
    coffee grounds, grass clippings, green leaves
  • Browns/ Carbon Dried Leaves, twigs, straw,
  • Do NOT Include Meat, Dairy, Weeds that have gone
    to seed, pet wastes, fried or fatty foods

Compost Pile Maintenance
  • Nature will ensures composting will happen
  • Turn the pile periodically (add oxygen)
  • Water the pile periodically
  • Screen material for finished compost
  • Use compost in your garden on with your potted

Tips for Successful Backyard Composting
  • Dont stress its hard to do wrong
  • Find ways to make it convenient
  • Use a kitchen bucket
  • Place your outdoor bin where you can access it
  • If things are going slow add water and aerate
  • Keep some extra leaves around
  • browns can be hard to find in the summer
  • Leaves can reduce odors and pests
  • Expect a few insects

Worm Composting
  • Ideal for composting indoors
  • Great for apartment dwellers

Getting started
  • Make your own bin
  • Use two bins that will nest together
  • Drill holes inside the interior bin
  • Drill air holes in the lid and along the side of
    the container
  • Use a container 8 inches x 16 inches

Bedding Food Scraps
  • Common bedding materials are peat moss, shredded
    paper or newspaper, and leaves.
  • For every half pound of food you need one pound
    of worms (per week)
  • Acceptable materials include uncooked fruit,
    grains or vegetables
  • Avoid Meat, Dairy, Egg Shells, Pet Waste, Greasy
    or Fried Foods

Acquiring and Caring for Worms
  • Use Red Wiggler Worms Only
  • Available online for 15-25
  • Also sometimes available from friendly neighbors
    who already compost with worms
  • 1 Pound of Worms can handle ½ pound of food waste
    per week.
  • Over time more food can be added and worm
    population will grow
  • Keep in area where the temperature is between 50
    and 75 degrees F.
  • Ideal spots are under kitchen sink, in closet or
  • Add food waste once or twice per week to
    minimally disrupt the worms. www.wo
Worm Websites
Recovering your Compost
  • Harvest worm castings every 6 months or so
  • Shift everything to one side of the bin
  • Place new bedding on other side
  • Add food only to side with new bedding
  • After about 2 weeks worms will migrate to new
  • Collect castings from old side and add bedding
  • Liquid worm juice --will collect in the
    bottom bin

Using your compost and worm juice
  • Castings can be used for indoor or outdoor
  • Castings have high nutrient levels. Use one
    handful of castings to 10 handfuls of regular
  • Worm Juice is a strong fertilizer for
    indoor/outdoor plans
  • Dilute 201 prior to use

  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website
  • http// search Resource
    Center Fact Sheets

Thank You
  • Tim Farnan
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • 651.757.2348
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