As millions heed the government’s stay-at-home order, environmental groups expect an increase in domestic food waste which, instead of ending in landfills, could be turned into compost.
Non-profits Buklod Tao and EcoWaste Coalition urge the public to embrace easy on the pocket composting methods to recycle kitchen and garden waste into soil conditioner and organic fertilizer during the quarantine period and beyond.
“Composting is the most practical way of halving our waste production since food waste and other organics make up 50 percent or more of the waste we generate and dispose of. You don’t need a fancy machine to do it at home; your 10 fingers will do,” said Noli Abinales, an avid composter and also the founder of Buklod Tao and a trustee of the EcoWaste Coalition.
The EcoWaste Coalition and Buklod Tao share these 12 steps in home composting:
1. Separate biodegradable waste (fruit and vegetable peelings, egg and seafood shells, dry leaves, grass cuttings, twigs, etc.) from non-biodegradables or recyclables.
2. Choose the right size and type for composter (pile, pit, pot, or any container) depending on how much compostable waste the household generates.
3. Select a convenient location for the composter, preferably one that is even, well-drained, and sun-drenched.
4. Chop biodegradable wastes into small pieces for easy decomposition. Paper that is not suitable for recycling such as heavily soiled or greasy paper or box can be composted when shredded.
5. Mix the chopped dry and wet biodegradables so that the mixture is not too wet or too dry. Place the mixture into the composter
6. Start with a layer of coarse materials such as dry leaves and twigs to allow for aeration and drainage.
7. Add kitchen and garden waste as they accumulate, alternating green nitrogen-rich materials and brown carbon-rich materials.
8. Place a thin layer of soil on top of the materials and sprinkle it with a small amount of water.
9. Continue to add layers until the composter is full.
10. Maintain the composter; turn the materials once a week to aerate the pile to help the breakdown process and get rid of the smell.
11. When the interior of the pile is no longer hot and the materials have turned into dark and crumbly soil, composting is finished.
12. Harvest and use the compost as a soil conditioner or fertilizer.
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