Composting Your Food Waste
The average person doesn’t give much thought to the topic of trash, but the truth is it’s an important topic. Each day nearly one million pounds of trash is created in York County. What would our community look like if we did not dispose of our trash responsibly? At YCSWA, we manage trash at the York County Resource Recovery Center where all combustible trash is turned into alternative energy. That’s right, York County trash is being RECYCLED into electricity. We encourage recycling whenever possible. Read on to find out how RECYCLING YOUR FOOD WASTE to create compost is good for our environment.
Food Waste as Compost
Food waste makes up one-third of the waste stream here in the U.S. As you can imagine, it benefits our environment in several ways when we utilize food waste to create compost. Let me mention a few: When compost is placed on top of existing soil, it adds nutrients that are used by plants for growth and photosynthesis. Adding compost to soil also helps it retain water. Composting can drastically reduce the amount of waste that goes to the trashcan which reduces the amount of trash in your home. As a result, you won’t need to buy as many trash bags which, again, reduces waste. Lastly, by creating your own compost with food waste, you are not relying on factory-made fertilizers and chemicals bought online or in a store to enrich our soil. Composting is free.
Steps to Turn Your Food Waste into Compost Bin
The first step to creating a backyard compost bin, according to Andrew Horn, field manager at Horn Farm, is choosing a convenient location. You want to look for level ground where you have easy access to water. Next, add the composting materials using a layering technique. You will want to use one to two feet of brown material, such as saw dusk or dead leaves, for every six-inch layer of green material, such as kitchen scraps. It’s also important to make sure your pile has adequate moisture throughout. Lastly, turn the pile once within the first week and try to turn it three additional times every three weeks.
Of course, it is very important to know exactly what food waste should be used in your compost. For a complete list of kitchen scraps and other waste that can be used to compost click here.
Need Help Getting Started?
If you need help creating your very own backyard composting bin, we can help. YCSWA has partnered with Horn Farm Center to offer Backyard Composting Workshops. York County residents are invited to register for a workshop which will teach participants how to use both yard and food waste to create their own composting bin at home.
Participants construct a new compost pile on site, have the opportunity to turn/mix/flip a pre-existing pile and see an active pile that is late in the decompositional process. Questions are encouraged during the interactive workshop which will provide details about materials needed, how to keep the composting bin properly balanced and much more. Participants are given their own twelve-foot roll of welded wire to get them started on their own backyard composting bin. Click here for additional information and to register for a workshop.