One quarter of our waste is yard trimmings and food scraps.
Mulch mowing cuts down on grass clippings going to the land fill, and fertilizes your lawn. This means less pollution due to run-off and more money in your pocket. Another benefit is helping hold moisture in and cutting down on your need to water. If your lawn is too high to mulch then catch the clippings in a bag and add them to your compost pile.
The main components of your pile will be yard waste (grass clippings, leaves) and food scraps from your kitchen. The balance is basically 2/3 brown (dead) to 1/3 green and enough moisture to keep the pile moist, but not wet enough to drown the living organizms that are doing the composting work.
It is easy to start and maintain a compost pile. There are many different choices, after doing a little research just pick the system that you feel comfortable with. The best thing to remember is:
No matter how much work we put into it. The only difference is how fast it happens. To speed up composting you aerate (turn it more). Keeping the heat up and the moisture in balance aid in speeding up the process. There are many different resources for composting information. A very good local resource is the Sedwick County Extension Center at www.oznet.ksu.edu/sedgwick/. Amother good resource: www.compostjunkie.com
When you have yard waste that is too big or bulky for your compost pile, here is a list of resources for hauling it away (or taking it yourself). At Evergreen Recycling you can pick up mulch and compost that is from local sources. By purchasing mulch and compost locally you are saving our natural forests, helping our local economy and aiding in reducing our local landfills. Also, the last couple of years some of the major companies selling these products have been doing so from areas that were devastated by natural disasters. These products have been known to contain toxins and termites.
"Some little bit of the Sacred Tree still lives. Nourish it, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds." - Black Elk
Below are two examples of easy-to-build compost bins. You can use materials you have already and use these instructions and examples to aid you. Any time we can reuse what we already have the better it is. These instructions and photos are compliments of the Sedgwick County K-State Research & Extension Center Master Gardeners program. Please visit their website at:http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/. Their website is full of great ideas, tips and resources.
Picket Fence Compost Bin:
2 - 8' Sections of pre-built picket fence from a home lumber yard 1 1/2" Deck screws 4 - Corner posts
Cut the fence sections to 4' lengths Set posts at corners Attach 3 sides of the fence to the corner posts The fourth section needs to be open. Either attach with wire at corners or use hinges 1 1/2" deck screws strengthens the structure