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Questions tagged [composting]

the process of creating compost: organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. For composting with worms see [vermicomposting], for anaerobic composting with microorganisms see [bokashi]

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Which is best for dealing with food waste — composting or a biogas digester?

Let's say I have the option to send my food scraps to either a composting site, or a biogas digester. Both are industrial scale, following best practices. The output from each is high quality and ...
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I throw compostable food into trash — how much harm do I cause?

I live in a city that doesn't have composting facilities that ordinary citizens like myself could easily use. Although I recycle most of the plastic, metal, glass and paper I lay my hands on, getting ...
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Composting toilet v/s urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT)

An UDDT seems to be the most environmentally friendly alternative, but for some contexts, a composting toilet might seem preferable (like rentals, or camping sites where people don't always remember ...
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Impact of ash from barbecue on compost heap

I wonder of the impact ash (probably combined with still existing coal) might have to compost. I know that coal is used to clean water and air. But does it improve compost or does it reduce activities ...
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Any problem with storing compost in a sealed container for several weeks? Alternatives?

I live in a second floor apartment with a small balcony. In my kitchen I have a small vented container where I place kitchen scraps as I'm preparing food -- like this: About once a week when this ...
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Is hot composted material still beneficial to worms, or have the worm suitable nutrients already been consumed?

I have a sealed tumbler compost bin because I read that the high heat can help neutralize seeds from weed cast offs, that said I've also been considering the benefits of vermicomposting. As I pay more ...
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What isn't recyclable or compostable?

My community has single-bin recycling. Most consumer-level metal, plastic, and paper can go in there to be sorted at a recycling center. They don't take plastic grocery bags, cellophane, paper towels, ...
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What packaging should I use to ship vermicompost to customers

I know that vermicompost needs to "breathe" as it has living matter within. I've tried in vain to find out what material I should use for packaging, as I need to ship (by truck, up to 1500 km, in a ...
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Can I recycle waxy cardboard (in Greater Vancouver)?

Does anyone know what to do with these containers? Even though some of them are labelled "#3 Please recycle this container" I'm quite sure they can't be put with mixed paper or cardboard recycling ...
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Composting bones in a worm bin

I have a composting worm farm and would like a definitive answer, as what I've read so far is confusing. When adding scraps of dog bones from beef or lamb, or inedible (for small dog breeds) chicken ...
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Does Sawdust for Humanure/Composting Toilet need to be Powder?

First timer here, just getting into homesteading. I bought a pack of sawdust from Tractor Supply the other night. Finest variety they had. Fine premium pine shavings: This looks like very thin pine ...
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How to recycle almond shells?

I have seen this related question - but it was about the almond peels and not their shells: How do I recycle these? My relatives advised me to burn it all up, as it drives away mosquitoes[citation ...
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How deep should my bedding be in my bucket vermicomposter?

I plan to set up my first vermi-composting system using red wigglers in my garage, modeled after the one shown by YouTuber Larry Hall (video link). One minor difference is that I'll use two 5-gallon (...
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How to test whether a teabag has polyester fibres or not, without waiting for it to compost?

Some teabags are made (or partially made) of polyester fibres, and stay intact in compost after everything else has broken down. Is there a quick way to test whether a teabag contains polyester, as ...
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Can solid dog waste be safely added to a backyard composting heap?

My dog poops in my backyard and the poop is either a) forgotten or b) picked up in a biodegradable bag and thrown in the trash which is ultimately incinerated for electricity by my municipality. Both ...
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Is it absolutely necessary to agitate/rotate a compost bin?

I live in a small apartment with limited space (there is a small outdoor patio). I want to start using a compost bin, but all the models I've found are quite large and seem to include mechanisms for ...
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When is a compost considered safe if it contains restricted animal material?

If a compost contains RAM(restricted animal material), what are the indicators one should look at in order to determine whether it is safe for pasture use.
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Worm Bin Health

This is my first post on the Sustainable Living stack exchange, which I did not know existed. I am extremely excited to become an active member on this exchange, because I try to live as sustainable ...
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Will small quantities of soap in my compost cause problems?

After I get done washing the dishes there is often a decent collection of food scraps in the drain trap -- perhaps a few tablespoons worth. This is, of course, mixed in with some soap suds. If I put ...
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What's the most sustainable way to re-use or dispose of meat scraps?

Given that you shouldn't put leftovers of meals that has touched meat in compost bins due to the risk of attracting vermin, what is the most sustainable way to deal with these scraps?
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Can I compost vegetable oil?

I have a quart (0.9 liter) of vegetable oil, and was wanting to get rid of it. I know you're not supposed to pour it down the drain, and was thinking that if I put it in the compost bin I would be ...
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What commercially printed paper is safe to compost?

I like adding carbon to the scraps I compost by mixing in some shredded newspaper and Yellow/White Pages books (bot not glossy magazines). What should I check for to make sure I am not adding ...
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In terms of usefulness for compost, what are good alternatives to keeping chickens?

My city's policies on keeping chickens makes it difficult to use them for their composting abilities. I'm looking for alternatives. By my understanding, chickens can take insects and weeds (two major ...
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What is the environmental impact of toilet paper processed at a water treatment plant?

After toilet paper is flushed down a toilet and it goes to a water treatment plant, what happens next? Does it decompose, if so what gasses are released? Is the carbon sequestered in any significant ...
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How difficult is it to build your own dry, self-composting toilet?

I live in the country and have space on the north-side of my house where it doesn't get too hot in the summer. I think this could be a good place to implant a water-less or dry toilet. I read here ...
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About the hygiene of my organic trash can/rubbish bin

At our apartment, we keep a small trash can devoted to organic waste. When it is full, which takes a week or so, we empty it in a compost container near our street. My question is, how often should ...
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What to do with expired food?

When I last visited my grandmother I found a couple of expired cans of peaches. Given that they should have been consumed three years ago I don't think it's safe to eat them. I was thinking about ...
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Heating water with compost

We've been experimenting this year with hot composting, and are now looking at how we can go about using the heat generated in the pile to heat water, either to use directly or to pump around as ...
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Composting used white shredded paper

I happen to have a lot of white used paper (with black ink on it, either from a printer or a pen), and also a very wet compost bin (I guess it's because my soil is heavy clay and the drainage is quite ...
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Legalities of compost toilets [duplicate]

Is there any compost toilet that is legal for new construction? Assuming the answer is no, will there ever be?
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Are my compost piles adding CO2 to the atmosphere by offgassing?

I make several compost piles, flip them regularly, add some additives and apply them to my crops. I often cover the piles when its rainy, will this affect the offgassing? Some of my neighbors apply ...
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How will using leaves as toilet paper affect the composting of my toilet?

My bathroom is surrounded by a fuzzy leafed species, planted specifically for this purpose, I imagine. Many people I talk to around here can still vividly remember before toilet paper. I have yet to ...
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Move to electronic documents [closed]

It has occurred to me that no one has thought about this issue, so I thought I would pose the question. Why, in the modern electronic age are we still using paper? Just to give you an idea, at my ...
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Does bokashi bran expire?

We've bought a house and found half a large tub of bokashi bran in the basement. This puzzled us a while as we'd never heard of the process, but a little Googling enlightened us. We've also got some ...
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How to improve energy efficiency of composting toilet?

I've been looking at a commercial composting toilet for a mobile, off-grid application ("boondocking rv"). I've done a power budget and the toilet is coming out as the biggest user of energy. Power is ...
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How much garden waste can a 4x2x2 (feet) flow-through worm bin process each week?

If I start with a 4x2x2 feet (122x61x61 cm) unit half full of shredded cardboard and 5lbs (2.3 kg) of red wigglers, how long should it take for the system to be running full tilt, and how much (in lbs,...
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What are the limits of planting directly into pre-compost material?

I was wondering what the limits were to planting into organic pre-compost material. As an experiment my father has grown a few things be simply planting them in a pile of used tea bags. This seems to ...
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How effective are rotary composters

We now have a large house (a guesthouse) with capacity for generating a lot of compostable waste. At our previous house we used a number of static compost bins, turning between them. In the new ...
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How much liquid is produced when composting?

Composting is a great way of turning common wastes into a usable product. The compost should be wet enough to allow the composting process to happen. But when composting wet wastes there is some ...
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Why is there much more liquid draining from compost?

I moved my whole composting site to another place of my garden. Before the place was on a mild slope, now it's much more level. The shading is similar, maybe a bit more shady now. The inputs didn't ...
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Indoor composting with limited space

I live in a small flat and my only place to grow things is in window boxes on my generously sized window ledges. I would like to be able do a small amount of composting with things like leaves from my ...
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What vegetable plants (if any) will produce enough organic matter to replenish the soil through compost?

I am looking for some good vegetables which will produce enough biomass that, once the main crop is harvested, the plants can be composted and returned to the soil, and will leave the soil better than ...
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With increasing emphasis on biosecurity, how do I properly dispose of livestock remains?

Overview If you own livestock, even on the small-scale such as for family subsistence or a hobby-farm, the death of livestock is inevitable. In cases where you are raising animals for meat or hide, ...
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Is butcher's paper typically waxed, oiled, or plastic coated?

Butcher's paper was suggested to me as a sustainable material for storing food in the freezer. However, I found this site that suggests it is sometimes oiled or waxed. Perhaps it coated in plastic ...
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Composting paper versus recycling it, which one is more environment friendly?

As the title suggests, the question boils down to which one is more environment friendly? I started composting few weeks back. After reading about composting on various internet resources, I tried ...
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How to construct a composting toilet

I want to built a composting toilet. What are the main construction aspects to be considered? Does anyone have a manual to share? I am especially interested in construction schemes which include the ...
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Is it a good idea to throw organic waste in a river?

I live in an apartment in an urban area that doesn't offer municipal compost. I store my food waste in a paper bag in my freezer. When the bag is full, I run it over to Whole Foods and dispose of ...
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How is compostable plastic recycled/composted industrially?

I know that you need industrial facilities to compost compostable plastics within a reasonable timeframe. But how does this process work exactly? How long does it take? Is it simply a matter of doing ...
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Which compostable plastic types can be composted at home?

There often is confusion about compostable plastics (see for example this question on greenware items or this gardening question on plastic bags). 'Compostable' suggests that you can compost the ...
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Microbes used for home composting and cost effectiveness

This product which has recently launched in India claiming to provide a stench free alternative to home composting with little hassle. I had a discussion with its founder and he says its similar to ...