According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food and yard waste compose 24% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream and cost taxpayers over $1 billion per year for disposal. Why not instead help your own household economy and reuse those leftovers?
Combining kitchen and yard scraps with a bulking agent, such as wood chips or saw dust, and then allowing the mixture to mature creates humus, a dark brown or black soil that, among many benefits, promotes higher yields of higher quality vegetables in the garden, and works as a natural disease and pest repellent.
Most food scraps and yard waste can be pitched into the compost bin, but that’s not all you can compost. Household waste like cardboard rolls, coffee grounds and filters, clean paper, dryer lint, and fireplace ashes will also do the trick. Click here for a more complete list of compostable household items. Also, be sure to study the list of items that should never be composted. Among other things, pet waste, fats and oils, and diseased or pest-ridden plants should not be recycled in the garden and can actually harm your compost and negate all your hard work.
Don’t stop with recycling scraps. You can also repurpose old wood or a large, plastic laundry container for use as your compost bin. Find more tips on composting here.