Composting is easy, and a great way to recycle organic waste, rather than needlessly adding it to a landfill. Composting is basically mixing yard and household organic waste and then providing conditions that will encourage decomposition. This mixture eventually produces a rich, organic fertilizer that can be used for houseplants, flower beds, or vegetable gardens. It's a process that's become more popular in recent years, as homeowners seek new ways to become environmentally responsible. In as few as ten years, composting will very likely be as common as recycling aluminum cans and glass bottles is today.
To get started, choose the type of bin you'll use for your compost. You can purchase a commercial bin, build your own, or just choose a convenient place in the yard to pile waste. Choose a relatively sunny spot for your pile or bin that has good air circulation and adequate drainage. Don't place it against your house or shed.
In your compost, include a mixture of brown fibrous ingredients and greens. Brown ingredients include ash, vegetable stalks, fruit waste, leaves and straw, pine needles, and peanut shells. Greens include coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and garden waste. Don't add meat and fish scraps, fats, or pet waste. Shred, dice, or chop the scraps into smaller pieces to speed up the decomposition process. When you add waste to your compost, don't squash down the pile, as this will squeeze out air that bacteria needs.
While your compost is "cooking," you'll need to add water occasionally—just enough to keep the pile somewhat moist, not sopping wet so that it gets slimy. You'll also need to turn the pile occasionally to allow oxygen to get to all areas of the pile. Nature does the rest!
For more information on composting, visit your local garden store, or check with your city or county.