2 Simple Tricks to Make Composting Successful

Each Wednesday I drive through our neighbourhood and see lots of bags of garbage and blue bins but it is not common to go an entire street without seeing a single green bin. Even with the ease of a city compost program people are still not buying in and participating. The most common reason I hear is because it is "gross". Yep it can be, but it doesn't have to be if you follow these simple tricks.

City Compost Program
* Make sure the kitchen bin is the appropriate size for no more than 3 days worth of material
* Line your kitchen bin with newspaper or buy the compost bags
* Use leftover take out paper bags in kitchen bin
* Add newspaper or a coffee tray to the bottom of your green bin to prevent sticking
* In the summer consider using a bin liner to contain smell
* In the summer add shredded paper or newspaper to the top every day
* Rinse once a month on the lawn and then allow to full dry

Backyard Compost
* Line the bottom of the compost with straw, twigs plant stems to aid in ventilation and drainage
* Secure your bin so animals can not get in through the bottom and top
* Stir! Stir! Stir! on a weekly basis. I always found a garden fork did the best job
* Maintain the ration of 1 part "Green" to 1 part "Brown"
* Keep shredded paper (a "Green") on hand to add to your bin if it seems wet
* Stop adding material into the bin 6 weeks before winter if you live in a cold climate. This will allow your compost to heat up and decompose faster instead of freezing and stopping the process over the winter.
* Create a second bin that you add to over the winter or stockpile organics indoors. 

Of course the best way to prevent the ICK factor with composting is to reduce the amount of organic waste that you product in the first place.

What are your tricks to ensure composting is easy and not gross?

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  1. We use the city green bin, even though it's totally nasty. I don't mind the food rot, but it the maggots that freak me out. How do you control maggots?

  2. I feel your pain. We got maggots twice last summer. It was terrible...yet was a good excuse to clean our entire garage.

    The best way to prevent them is to prevent flies from gaining access to your cart. This can be done by eliminating odours and ensuring the lid is sealed tight. To eliminate odours make sure that the compost is not too wet. Add shredded paper or yard waste each day. I would recommend that in the summer months you don't add meat in until the day you are putting it out at the curb. Keep a container in the freezer with the scrap meat in it then add it into the bin right before you put it outside. If you don't want to do that then wrap your meat scraps in newspaper.

    If you get them just open the lid and leave it outside...the birds will enjoy the meal :) Or you can spray the inside with water and vinegar.

    I wash my bin more often in the summer to keep odours to a minimum.