Monday, November 24, 2008

How to Become a Composting Guru

Compost Heap

With more municipalities going to curbside recycling, running a compost heap isn’t just for the crunchy set anymore. Here’s how to know what belongs in the pile.

Composting isn’t just for kitchen scraps anymore. Or just for hardcore Greens. Learning how to get a compost heap running has become an important way to both enrich our garden soil and reduce the amount of organic waste which ends up at your local landfill. But how do you know what should, and — perhaps more importantly – shouldn’t go into the pile?

The Compost This website That’s where Compost This comes in. A companion to the popular recycling and repurposing site Recycle This, Compost This is the brainchild of Louisa Parry and John Leach. The couple is also responsible for the UK-based celebrity mashup Fametastic.

Composting may not be quite as glamorous as chasing the latest dish on Angelina Jolie, but there’s a certain sexiness to knowing whether or not you can compost dryer lint (yes, but too many dryer sheets will add unwanted chemical residue to the pile). And that’s how Compost This works — it’s an indexed guide that says yes, no, or maybe to things you might want to compost.

A sample:

    Cardboard. You bet, but it breaks down best if it’s wet and shredded.
    Baked beans. Nope, worms don’t don’t fancy them. You’d like the earthworms to feel right at home.
    Cat waste and litter. Definitely not. Cat waste might contain organisms dangerous to humans.
    Shredded paper. Yes, but refrain from shiny stocks.
    Potatoes. Absolutely — though whole ones are pretty stubborn and might regrow. Free potatoes for everyone.

You get the idea. It’s a one-stop shop for the prospective composter. Be good to the Earth and the make the garbage man’s job a little easier at Compost This.