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Best Tips for Composting at Home

Nov 01, 2013
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Composting is the process which cleans up your home waste as well as gives you a perfect low cost soil conditioner and fertilizer for use in garden. It can be done at home very easily if taken care of few things. Below is a helpful guide on composting. 



What is Composting?

Composting is a process of breaking down of organic matter (green) to a brown substance called humus or compost. Compost is rich in nitrogen, carbon and phosphorous nutrients which are essential for a plant’s growth.

 Composting at home

Deciding factors

Proper aeration, shredding of organic matter (paper, dried leaves), Nitrogen ( vegetables and fruits ) and right amount of water are four main deciding factors of time consumed and quality of compost. Bacteria, worm and fungi degrade the green organic matter in compost after process of few weeks and months depending on the provided conditions.



Compost or humus is used in gardens, horticulture, agriculture and landscaping as it is rich in nutrients. Compost also acts as soil conditioner enhancing soil aeration quality and making it fertile.


Material that can be and can’t be used for composting


Below is the list of the daily used things which can and can’t be used for composting.


                         Yes                            No
Fruits Paper plates and cup with plastic lining
Vegetables Meat
Shred paper and newspaper, paper tissue , envelop Fat, grease, oil
Cooked food and rotten vegetables Bones
Coffee powder, tea bags , tea leaves Foil wrapper
Egg shell (crushed) Chocolate, biscuits and other item’s shining packaging cover
Leaves, flowers (dried or fresh ) Plastic bags and plastic milk packets
Grass clippings Cigarette buts
Pickle Human and animal droppings ( they can have harmful bacteria etc)
Cereal , Bread Medicines
Matches, Toothpicks Alkaline Batteries
Pizza boxes  
Cooked rice and pasta  
Bakery items  
Beer , wine  
Dead houseplants  
Dog food , Fish food  
Potato chips  
Human hair , Pet hair, Toenail clippings  
Old cotton or wool cloth ( cut into small pieces)  
Vacuum cleaner content  


How to compost?


After deciding upon the items to be composted, time is to learn how to compost. Below are the steps –


1. Collect all green waste (Check the eligibility of the item in above table, do not add items written in ‘No’ category) and brown waste (dried leaves) in separate containers.


2. Now select a compost bin in which above green and brown waste will be added. Compost bin can be simply a plastic bucket or earthen pot. You can buy a one from market or order online if you are not sure what compost bin is to used.


3. Spread a thin layer of soil at the bottom of the compost bin.


4. Add green waste and brown waste as alternate layer and stir it.


5. Cover the compost bin with a plastic sheet or paper to help retain moisture and heat.


6. Covering will help in smell spreading around and keep flies etc away.


7. Keep stirring the pile every 3 to 5 days to increase aeration in the compost bin. Add  water if you find waste too dry. Good amount of aeration and water increase microbial activity thus giving push to the whole process.


8. Add dried leaves or shred newspaper if waste looks too sticky or lumpy. It shows water is in excess and you need to compensate it with dry matter.


9. After few weeks or months, the waste will turn into dark brown substance giving smell of fresh earth. The substance is known as compost.


10. Composting works best in high temperature so try to do it in warmer months.


Read Also : Check out what is worm composting ?


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