Composting Basics

hands with compost

How Composting Saves Water

Disposing food scraps down the drain takes a lot of water. When you compost you save that water and use your food scraps to help your plants get healthier. Once you've got compost to add to your soil, more water and moisture stay in your lawn and garden, so you can water less, too!

What Composting Is

Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic material (yard trimmings, kitchen scraps, wood shavings and more!)

When you keep these materials in a way that they break down quickly, you'll end up with material that's rich in nutrients and can help your soil.

Why Should We Compost

Save Money

  • Lower your water bill
  • Buy less fertilizer

Save Time and Effort

  • Stop bagging grass and leaves
  • Spend less time watering
  • Spend less time fertilizing

Help Your Community

  • Save landfill space
  • Conserve water resources
  • Reduce water pollution

How to Compost

Grab a container!

You can make your own bin or buy a premade one.

Your container should have:

  • at least 1 cubic yard capacity
  • easy access for adding material, watering and turning
  • security from pet and vermin access

Save your scraps!

You can add lots of items to your pile that would normally go to the landfill.

Good choices for compost include:

  • leaves
  • grass clippings
  • vegetables and fruit
  • coffee grounds
  • used tea bags

Avoid adding meat, dairy, diseased plants or treated wood. 

Turn the pile!

Use a hayfork or a compost turner to break up clumps and move material around.

Turning your compost:

  • adds more oxygen
  • distributes moisture
  • blends materials
  • helps prevent weeds

Harvest your compost!

Enjoy the results of your hard work. Compost is ready when it smells earthy and looks dark and crumbly like dark soil. Sift your compost through a screen to catch anything that hasn't decayed (just put that stuff back in the pile!)

Use your compost to enrich soil around:

  • new gardens
  • established plants
  • lawn areas