Backyard Composting

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Compost is decomposed organic matter, made from leaves, grass clippings, wood chips and fruit and vegetable scraps. Added to your soil or sprinkled on your yard and garden, it helps grass and plants to thrive. Unlike some fertilizers, compost will not run off your yard and pollute Austin’s creeks and waterways.

Recipe for Compost

Composting is easy. Simply put different yard trimmings such as leaves and grass clippings in a bin or pile. You should have a mix of green material and brown material. Add water so the pile is slightly damp. Let the pile sit for 12 to 16 months.

You can add fruit and vegetable scraps and other materials as generated. Cover new kitchen scraps with leaves or bury them in the pile. If the pile dries out, add more water to keep it damp.

After 12 to 16 months, most of the material at the bottom of the pile will be dark, rich sweet-smelling compost. Sift or sort out large undecomposed materials and sprinkle the rest on your yard and garden.

For faster results, turn the pile at least once a month. The pile should reach a temperature of 130 to 160 degrees and will be ready in 6 to 9 months. The more frequently you turn the pile, the faster your compost will be ready.

What Can Be Composted?
• Grass Clippings
• Yard Trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings)
• Leaves
• Vegetable & Fruit Scraps
• Coffee Grounds
• Tea Leaves
• Wood Chips
• Shredded Paper (Low grade paper not acceptable for recycling)

What to Avoid
• Meat, Fish and Poultry (including bones)
• Food Sauces
• Fats, Grease, and Oils
• Dairy Products
• Pet Feces
• Invasive Weeds
• Treated Wood (or any materials containing strong preservatives or toxins)
• Ashes and charcoal
• Non-organics (plastic, metal, glass, etc…)

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The SoilSaver Composter and Kitchen ScrapCarrier is available year round at the RCSWD offices.