Composting Materials / Conserving Valuable Resources
Composting, often described as nature’s way of recycling, is the biological process of breaking up of organic waste such as food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, worms, and coffee grounds, etc., into an extremely useful humus-like substance by various micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes in the presence of oxygen.
Actinomycetes are similar to fungus in the way they grow and spread, but its distinguishing elements are that the types of materials they are efficient at decomposing. The active nature in this microscopic bacteria and the sheer number present (about 10 million per 1 gram of soil), make them highly effective at breaking down materials like tree bark, newspaper, and other hard organic material.
Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in many countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impact they have on the environment.
Composting Materials / Industrial vs Commercial
Composting is when nature conceives compost by self-regenerating. Compost is healthy soil best for planting. Composting materials vary depending upon what form of composting would actually take place. Industrial composting is management of a very high quantity of biodegradable materials so they use advanced equipments to make the process faster.
Commercial composting is a form of composting in which the products are being sold as fertilizers so they also have special equipment to implement the process. Home composting is the type of composting the general public is most interested in. It is simple composting mostly in the backyard of our home.
Composting Materials / Tools
The tools needed are very simple: compost bin, gloves, and a shovel. And there is other composting equipment for the serious environmentalist – click on this link for more on that.
Composters (composting bins) are easily available in the market but if you are a do-it-yourself type of person, you can Make a composting pile on your own. See the Composting Techniques page for more information on this process.
Gloves and shovels are tools that are very accessiblein any hardware store, Walmart, Target, etc.. The basic ingredients in composting are any biodegradable materials, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. These are all free compounds which we can get from nature. For more on what you can compost see the How Does Composting Work page.
Composting Materials / Nitrogen and Carbon and Hydrogen
Nitrogen helps the balancing of acid and helps boost the microbes’ activity in compost. Urine, coffee grounds, and green materials such as clippings from grass and leaves are high in nitrogen.
Carbon is the main ingredient that produces heat that the microbes’ activity also produces. Protein helps the multiplication of microorganisms that oxidizes the carbon. Sources of high carbon are brown in color. Examples of these are twigs, wood chips, and dried leaves.
Hydrogen or water is also necessary in composting. The compost should maintain a certain dryness as well as moistness. The compost should not be overwatered but the ideal moistness should the consistency a wrung-out sponge that has a moisture content of 50 percent.
Composting Materials / Tools
Oxygen is necessary because the microorganism in compost needs it to continue living. Another purpose of oxygen is to eliminate unpleasant odor. Bad odor exists because of poor air circulation. This is also the reason why overwatering the compost is a disadvantage. It blocks air passage and the beneficial organisms perish.
Adding worms may also help the compost become healthier. Best of all, the activity of microbes increases in high temperature. It creates its own heat but additional heat will add to the benefits.
For more information on composting follow these links: