How to make your own compost

The process and requirements 

Did you know that 40% of the average dustbin contents are absolutely apt to make compost? Yes, you can use all the kitchen waste and the paper waste to make compost that you can use for your gardening purposes. What you are also doing is your reducing landfill by not throwing away the trash that you use to make the compost. 

So, what do you need to start making the compost? 

  1. A compost bin
  2. Lots of garbage, literally! 

When you buy a compost bin, ensure that it has no gaps in the side and it has a lid. Some compost bins are insulated with cardboard or straw that helps the compost process. You will need to keep it in a sunny location; just a hint of shade is alright. Place the bin on areas that has soil or grass on it. Keep the compost away from water sources. 

When you start with the procedure of making the compost, ensure that you have enough material to layer roughly about 30 - 40 cm in the bin. What you can use to layer in the bin is leaves, grass that you may have mowed, kitchen garbage, cereal or cardboard boxes (ensure that you tear these into strips when adding to the bin). Adding cardboard or paper will create air spaces in the compost heap. You can also add dried twigs and small branches in this heap. Adding wood to the compost pile can improve the air circulation in the heap. 

If what you have mostly is kitchen waste, then ensure that you continue to add some paper to it in the form of cardboard boxes, egg cartons, the middles of a toilet or the kitchen rolls and newspaper to the compost pile. You can continue to fill in the container at regular intervals because as and when the earlier added materials sink, there will be space that is created. 

If you find that the compost is too dry, you can add some water to it and mix it well.Similarly if you feel that the mixture is too soggy. add dry material to it to soak the moisture. Always place the lid of the compost bin properly and d not leave it open. 

How long will it take?

The process of making compost can be completed in as little as 6-8 weeks, but the right process can take up to a year. The more right efforts you put in, the quicker you will get the compost. You will notice that all the ingredients that you have put in the compost bin turn a dark brown and there is an earthy smell emanating from it. That is when the compost is ready. Leave aside the compost for a few more days to mature before you start using it. If the compost is on the drier side, you can sieve and put back the larger pieces back in the bin to start the next round of making the compost. The compost can be thick and crumbly, or even lumpy in its consistency. But it is ready to be used.