Composting is an effective process to recycle organic material. It is easy and can be done in your own backyard. Common household waste from food preparation and yard waste from gardening can easily be composted into soil. This includes egg shells; vegetable and fruit peels; paper can and bottle labels; paper towels; leaves and grass; dead plants and small twigs are usable materials. The exception is meat or any animal based product because it could attract animals.
The composting itself takes little effort. In some respects it is probably easier than gathering up all the materials for regular recycling. As you prepare your meal, any organic waste material should go into a separate container (most people keep this container under their sink). Once that container is full, the contents are transferred to a backyard compost bins.
Many varieties of compost bins exist varying from homemade to store bought. A review of several different composting bins can be viewed here, it includes the model that we use. We have the Soil Saver Backyard Composter. When EWSWA first began the recycling program and included composting, these containers were available for purchase at a very low price. EWSWA also has a composting program where they have compost available for sale. The photo shown above, of a compost bin available through EWSWA, illustrates how easily it can be incorporated into any backyard setting.
If you do not want to purchase a commercially made compost bin, one can always build their own. Lowes has a site with instructions on building a two bin compost system. These systems work very effectively and if you are an avid gardener it is advantageous to have one in your backyard. Not only will you be growing your own plants and vegetables, but you will be creating nutritious soil for use in growing them.
Mulching is another effective means to recycle your yard waste. Rather than bagging grass clippings, have a mulching blade on your lawn mower. The clippings remain in the grass and provide nutrients to help ensure the health of your lawn. Leaves can also be mulched. Put leaves into a container and chop them up with your grass trimmer. After that they can be placed on plants in the garden or added to your compost bin. Or better yet, when leaves are sitting on your lawn, just go over them with the lawn mower and leave them.
For explanations about the differences between compost and mulch, visit EWSWA. They no longer sell mulch but the site still has the comparison between mulch and compost.
Most landfills do not accept yard waste any more; so if you are able to mulch or compost, it is a good contribution to helping the environment. If you are unable to compost or mulch, Windsor and Essex County do have yard waste recycling days.
Snake Western Pennsylvania
2 years ago