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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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Is it feasible to compost in an apartment in a city like New York?

I would like to start composting but live in New York City and have no yard area. Is it feasible to try composting on my very small outdoor porch balcony area (6 feet x 3 feet)? The porch is shaded ...
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10answers
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Why shouldn't meat be placed in my compost pile?

I've heard claims that it is a bad idea to place meat in your compost pile. What is the reason for this? I'd like to be able to compost all my table scraps to reduce my waste stream, however, if ...
10
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1answer
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What are the Carbon-Nitrogen ratios of common household wastes?

Making a good compost requires the right Carbon-Nitrogen ratio of the mixture. But most of the compostable household wastes don't have an ideal 25-30:1 ratio and we call them "greens" or "browns". And ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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Are mouldy kitchen scraps okay to compost?

I was reading about the dangers of introducing pathogens in a compost pile. As you know, some moulds can be toxic. So I am curious if the normal household mould that appears in the kitchen or the ...
9
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4answers
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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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2answers
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What alternative to composting is there to manage organic waste at home?

Organic waste (cooked food waste, uncooked food waste and garden waste) can usually be used productively in composting. However, in Kathmandu, where I am trying to find domestic solutions for organic ...
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5answers
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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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1answer
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Are there any laws that prohibit composting of human waste in US cities?

I have lived in an urban setting for a couple of years, where I used a composting toilet. Now I live in an apartment in a major metropolitan area in California and would like to continue using ...
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1answer
107 views

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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5answers
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Is it better to recycle or compost brown paper bags?

When you go to the grocery store, you may get brown paper bags. These can be readily recycled, however, they could also be composted. I would think that recycling requires energy, whereas composting ...
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1answer
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Reusable vs. disposable diapers: which is better?

My wife and I have been using reusable diapers for our two kids. We've made them from old curtains, old bedsheets, etc., pretty much all "recycled" materials. They've been working perfectly fine, but ...
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2answers
115 views

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 ...
14
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3answers
756 views

How to aerate compost without turning?

Are there any sound methods that will allow my compost heap to stay aerated without me having to turn it? I realize that if left alone, it will still compost, but I would still like to speed up the ...
15
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2answers
564 views

Ants and Compost

My community compost pile is now home to a very active ant's nest. As soon as any food goes on the pile, the ants are swarming over it. Is it anything to worry about, or are the ants a healthy ...
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2answers
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What are the downsides to so called greenware items?

Greenware is the brand name of a 100% corn based cups produced by Fabri-Kal. It is used to provide a plastic cup that can be composted. I'm wondering what externalities might exist for this product ...
12
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1answer
151 views

How to incorporate browns in apartment food scrap compost?

I want to start composting my food scraps, however I want to make sure I have a good mix of browns and greens to minimize odors. I live in an apartment, so I don't have any soil, leaves or other yard ...
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2answers
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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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5answers
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Does a compost pile for food scraps need some kind of starter material?

When starting a compost pile from scratch for kitchen food scraps, do I need some kind of starter material? For example, should I take any material from an established composting pile to seed it with ...
15
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1answer
396 views

How can I use my balcony compost during winter?

My balcony compost tends to freeze and stop working during winter time because I live in Quebec and we get an average of -13°C. Is there anything I can do to prolong my composting season?
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2answers
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Cooked food composting

Recently I started composting at home. As many sources told me not to put cooked food and several other things. Mainly to not attract animals. I don't put them on on my compost pile, but put put it ...
11
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1answer
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How can I build an effective rotary composter?

I have a fenced in back yard and I am thinking about building a rotary composter. What is a good and proven design? (I would like it to be big enough for a 4 person house)
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5answers
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How to get rid of fruit fly infestation in worm composting bin?

My worm composting bin is infested with fruit flies. What can be done to get rid of the flies?
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1answer
338 views

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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2answers
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Compost yourself or let the city handle the organic waste?

From a sustainability perspective. Is it better to let the city handle the organic waste or compost yourself locally when possible? I'd suspect city's larger scale organic waste management facilities ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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 ...