Go to www.stopwaste.org or call the "Rotline" at 510-444-Soil (7645) to order your compost bin or for more information about the Free Bay-Friendly Gardening Workshop series.

For Alameda County Residents Only

Home Composting

Why compost?

Composting is an easy, environmentally beneficial way to turn yard and kitchen wastes into a dark, crumbly, sweet-smelling soil amendment that will build your soil, increase garden production and do wonders for your landscaping. Composting will:

  • Save you money by lowering garbage bills and replacing the need for commercial soil amendments.
  • Increase production by improving the fertility and health of your soil.
  • Save water by helping the soil hold moisture and reducing water runoff.
  • Benefit the environment by recycling valuable organic resources and extending the lives of our landfills.

How to compost

Composting is easy. The bugs, fungi, bacteria and worms in your yard or worm box do most of the composting for you. Composting consists of three basic steps:

  • Chop compostables. The more you chop, the faster the decomposition process will go.
  • Mix dry, brown, carbon-rich material, with moist, green nitrogen-rich material for a balance of nutrients.
  • Water the materials as you build the pile, then keep the pile as damp as a wrung-out sponge. This speeds the decomposition process.

You can compost organically-based materials of all kinds, including: sawdust/straw, chopped prunings, shredded paper, shredded cardboard, paper towels/tissues, pine needles, dry leaves/weeds, coffee grounds/tea bags, moist greens, garden refuse, green leaves/weeds, fruit/vegetable trimmings, manures, grass clippings.

If you compost food wastes, you should do so only in worm-boxes, rodent-proof bins or buckets (with no holes bigger than 1/4 inch) or by burying small amounts at least one foot deep in a compost pile. Do not compost meat and bones, dairy products or greasy foods; dog and cat feces, unchopped wood, diseased or invasive plants.

For more information about composting, go to www.stopwaste.org


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