Composting is not a very difficult process to learn or to implement. It is nature’s way of recycling and returning valuable organic matter and nutrients to the soil to be used again.
Create a Compost Bin or Area
A compost bin is a structured area that you use to contain your compost. This structure could be made of wood, wire, or any material (typically 3'x'3'x3' bin size is recommended). The truth is you don’t even need a bin. All you really need is an area to pile raw materials for the composting. It is suggested that you don’t pile your materials on concrete, plastic, or anything else that doesn’t allow the materials to touch the dirt. The dirt is important because as the materials breakdown, existing soil microbes, fungus and worms will migrate into the compost and further assist with the process.
Materials that make the Compost
Grass clippings ("green") and fall leaves ("brown") are critical to a composting process because they provide the nitrogen and carbon necessary to accelerate the breakdown of your composting materials. Other garden debris from pruning and maintenance can also be added to your compost pile. Just be sure that any diseased materials are not added to the pile, but discarded with the normal trash.
Mother Nature needs 5 to 6 months in order to properly breakdown the raw materials to effectively turn them into usable compost. During this time, turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks.
Composting Made Easy! - one page visual guide. Highly recommended!
Cornell Waste Management Institute - Home Composting Guide
A Simple Guide to Leaf Composting - Cornell CCE Westchester
Compost Made Easy - Bronx Green-Up, NYBG (in English and Spanish)
Composting Fact Sheets: Nice collection covering a range of topics including: Lasagna Composting, Troubleshooting, and Vermiposting - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
Compost Benefits: Why Composting is Useful - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
Backyard Composting: It’s Only Natural - EPA
Composting: Discusses and defines composting, what compost can be used for, and other related topics - EPA
Composting Resources for Teachers - EPA
Mastercomposter.com - Master Composter Site
What is Composting? - Mastercomposter.com
Why Not Throw It Out? Very interesting page on why composting is essential - Mastercomposter.com (Click OK to dismiss LOGIN popup.)
NYC Composting Site - NYC
Composting At Home - NYS Department of Environmental Conservaton
Back to Basics Composting - Gardener's Supply
All About Back to Basics Composting - Gardener's Supply
Innovative Uses of Compost: Reforestation, Wetlands Restoration & Habitat Revitalization - EPA
Westchester County Brochures (.pdf files)
YOU-TUBE How Tos - short demo videos by Irvington GPTF folks
Composting videos (including: Lasagna Composting; Food Scrap Preparation) - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY
How Stuff Works - Composting
Composting supplies - Worms Way (wormsway.com)
Composting supplies - Gardeners Supply (gardeners.com)