How to do home composting
This article is about recycling of kitchen/organic waste. Composting is a process of converting food waste into nutrition rich soil which is called compost.
2 Why you should do home composting?
Composting is a process of recycling kitchen and garden waste. Its an easy process and is really amazing to see how nature works. One of the scientist in an Satymev Jayate episode gave a perfect example to think us seriously why should we do composting. He said that if you eat banana but if you don't give it back to nature (just wasting it by dumping in landfill which again got mixed with plastic) your next generation will not get banana in future. So, do composting and grow your own safe and organic food.
3 What all you need for composting
Formula for Aerobic Composting:
Carbon + Nitrogen + Oxygen
Carbon - dry leaves,sawdust,wood scraps,newspaper, pencil scraps etc.
Nitrogen - Food scraps, coffee ground/used filters ,tea/tea bags,cut flowers/green leaves,corn cobs,eggshells etc.
To start you need:
- A pot/plastic bin with 1 or many holes
- Uncooked Kitchen waste (Nitrogen)
- Dry leaves (Carbon)
- 1 spoon curd/buttermilk (To start aerobic process)
- Lid to cover pot
- Khurpi /broken stick to mix the pile
- Take a pot with one or more holes in it to allow air.
- Place a newspaper to absorb extra moisture.
- Add a layer of soil or compost. For the first batch use soil instead of compost.
- Add vegetable/fruit scraps - (Nitrogen/Green).
- Add dry leaves -(Carbon/brown). Its better to fully dry semi dry leaves before use. Also crush them before mixing with the pile to make process better.
( Nitrogen and carbon ratio should be approximately 1:3. 1 part food scraps and 3 parts of dry leaves).
- Make a layer of kitchen waste and dry leaves again to form a heap.
- With kitchen waste add 1 tbsp of curd/buttermilk to activate process.
- cover the heap with a newspaper or dry leaves like shown in below image. This step is necessary to avoid flies.
- cover pot with a lid.
Keep a plate under the pot to collect if any excess liquid is coming out which is called 'Leachate' ,which is very nutritious for plants. You will get very little/few drops in a day, which is unnoticeable. Some people collect it for a month or so and use in plants.
- Next day add greens and brown and mix different materials. Add them in composting bin. After adding mix follow 9th (cover heap with newspaper/dry leaves) and 10th (cover pot with lid) step daily until your bin/pot is full.
- Turn your pile regularly to produce a sweet smelling pile that will decompose faster.
After 6 to 8 days pile will look like below image:
- Once your pot is full ,use another pot to continue this process. turn pile in first pot once in a week. After 30 to 45 days your compost will get ready.
- Final product (compost) looks like below image.
- Sieve the ready compost as below and use for your garden. There are some undone part once you sieve you can put leftover in next pile. This again help next pile to work faster.
Once you take out ready compost from pot and if second pot is filled, use this first pot to continue the process. Happy composting!!
5 Tips and FAQ
- Add piece of lemon to avoid flies.
- Avoid cooked food if you are composting at home to avoid smell, it will also make process slow.
- Pile should be moist (not soggy or dry). If its dry add more vegetables and if its too wet add dry leaves or pieces of newspaper.
- Break material in small pieces to make process faster.
Images used with permissions from the respective owners.