Composting has a soiled reputation, but does it deserve it? More than 30% of what we throw away could be composted and added to soil to promote plant growth. That means less landfill waste and more green space, plus free fertilizer for your garden beds. And the downside? Well, there really isn’t one. Just a lot of myths that need to be busted!
Myth: Composting is complicated and takes a lot of time.
Fact: Nature does the bulk of the work in composting … you just have to maintain the right balance of “ingredients.” The simplest “recipe” is to include equal amounts of greens (like grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds) and browns (like dead leaves, branches, and twigs).
Myth: I can’t compost if I don’t have a backyard.
Fact: A compost tumbler or small worm composter can fit onto a patio or balcony, and electric-assist composters can fit right onto a kitchen counter. The resulting compost is great for house plants, but if you have more compost than plants, you can look for a curbside compost pick-up service in your area, donate it to a school or community garden, or share it with neighbors or friends who garden. Odds are someone in your neighborhood has a green thumb!
Myth: I don’t have enough compostable materials.
Fact: Most households have more than enough composting materials lying around. In addition to the items mentioned above, compost piles can take tea bags, nut shells, eggshells, shredded newspaper, cardboard, paper, cotton rags, and even fireplace ashes. And this is just a partial list! Once you learn the composting basics, you’ll find “ingredients” everywhere.
Myth: Compost piles smell bad.
Fact: Properly maintained compost piles don’t have an odor unless they’re too wet or include animal products like meat, milk, or cheese.
Myth: Collecting kitchen scraps is messy.
Fact: Whatever your kitchen décor, you can find a compost container to match. Containers may be ceramic, plastic, copper, or stainless steel, and a biodegradable liner allows you to toss the entire batch onto the compost pile without even getting your hands dirty.
Composting certainly isn’t right for everyone, but before you label it as a garbage idea, learn the facts and trash the myths!