backyard composting

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY. Backyard Composting. Producing your own Black Gold. The Natural Cycle. Leaves Decomposing. The breakdown releases nutrients. Backyard Composting. Where to place your compost pile. Within reach of a garden hose Convenient to your house - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Backyard CompostingProducing your own Black GoldMECKLENBURG COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY

  • The Natural Cycle

  • Leaves Decomposing

  • The breakdown releases nutrients

  • Backyard Composting

  • Where to place your compost pileWithin reach of a garden hoseConvenient to your houseIf possible, away from trees or bushes (roots will find compost)At least 30 from streams, wells or lakes (nitrogen runoff)Be considerate of your neighbors viewThink: Two Piles

  • Materials for making a bin

  • Measure out 12 feet of wire

  • Cut one end flush, one w/prongs

  • Set upright forming a cylinder

  • Fasten ends w/prongs facing out

  • Completed bin

  • Start with a layer of leaves

  • Easy measuring: 3 sections = 1

  • Break up any clumps

  • 50 lbs provides organic nitrogen

  • Sprinkle some on top of first layer

  • Use pellets instead of meal

  • Mix pellets into the leaves

  • As damp as a wrung out sponge

  • Add another layer of leaves

  • Each layer approximately 1

  • More pellets

  • Mix together

  • Add water to each layer

  • Cap with final layer of leaves

  • Completed batch

  • Adding kitchen scraps

  • Place scraps into the hole

  • Push down into the pile

  • Cover scraps with leaves

  • Mark the spot for reference

  • Pile heats up, volume decreases

  • Turning the pileTurn one week after assemblingTurn at least every three to four weeks The more you turn the pile, the faster it will decomposeIf you have more than one pile, you can combine piles as they decrease in volume

  • Unfasten the prongs

  • Unwrap the pile

  • Set up near first pile

  • Toss the pile back into the bin

  • Add water, if necessary

  • Pile starting to breakdown

  • Worms love compost

  • Compost in action

  • Less fertilizer needed

  • Compost loosens our clay soils

  • What can go into a compost pile?LeavesFruit/vegetable peels, stemsSpoiled fruit and vegetablesEgg shellsCoffee grounds and filtersTea leaves and bagsHard-shelled nuts (crushed)

  • What can go into a compost pile? Peanut ShellsClam and oyster shells (ground)Canning/preserving wastesStale breadUsed napkins/paper towelsManure from horses, cows and chickensRecycled compost

  • What should not be included:Dog droppingsCat litter and droppingsCharcoal AshesChemically treated plant materialInvasive weeds and plantsDiseased or infested plantsGlossy slick paperPoisonous or thorny plants

  • Where to use your compostNew garden beds and plantingsDig in 2-3 of compost in top 6Vegetable gardens/transplants2-3 on beds and some in each holeExisting garden beds1 layer around plants

  • Where to use your compostNatural areas under mulchSide dressings trees/shrubsScratch from 1 out from the stem or trunk of plant out to drip lineLawnsAfter aeration, spread of compost and rake inHouseplants2/3 potting soil, 1/3 compost

  • Other uses:Compost TeaUnfinished Compost

  • VermicompostingWorms:Can be bred easily at home or schoolCan be used to recycle organic waste from your kitchen into valuable fertilizerProduce castings which have a neutral pH (around 7)Castings increase the amount of nutrient available to your plants by up to 10 times.Castings increase crop and pasture yieldsIncrease the level of essential microbial activity in the soilConsume their own body weight in food every dayDouble in population every 2-3 months, in ideal conditions

  • What do I need? An aerated container Bedding such as shredded newspaper Moisture and proper temperature Small amount of soil Redworms (Eisenia fetida)

  • Q&A

    Mecklenburg County Solid Waste


    Compost Central704 588 5898Steve Elliot