Composting 101

Compost is organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants.

According to the U.S. EPA, compost is created by: combining organic wastes (e.g., yard trimmings, food wastes, manures) in proper ratios into piles, rows, or vessels; adding bulking agents (e.g., wood chips) as necessary to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials; and allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process.

This process, appropriately called composting, is environmentally preferable to landfilling organic material, according to the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.


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