Composting reduces curbside waste
While the proper maintenance of a compost pile can be time consuming, it also contributes to reducing unnecessary waste, and creates a wonderful natural fertilizer for your garden and landscaping. There are different varieties of indoor compost containers, and many types are available at local stores. Some households keep a small lidded container in the kitchen to collect food scraps, and then add them to the compost pile in the backyard.
There are several ways to construct outdoor compost piles. Piles should be placed on level ground in a sheltered, well-drained area, and out of constant direct sunlight. However, they should not be placed in constantly shaded areas, such as under trees. Be considerate of your neighbors, and choose a spot out of direct view.
The Village of Hoffman Estates permits outside compost piles and containers with the following requirements:
1. They can only be located in side or backyards
2. They cannot be constructed or placed in such a way so as to allow materials to be windblown
3. They cannot emit odors that are detectable at any point along lot lines, and they cannot cause a public nuisance or hazard beyond lot lines
4. A large amount of grass clippings or branches in a pile is not considered compost or mulch
If you do choose to compost your food scraps with your yard waste, here are some starter tips. Great compost includes:
• All your vegetable and fruit waste
• Breads and grains; anything made of flour
• Coffee grounds, tea bags and filters
• Outdated boxed pantry foods
• Egg shells
• Yard waste (leaves, flower and plant parts, grass)
Once materials are added to a compost pile, add a thin layer of compost or soil over the top to encourage material breakdown. Use a limited amount of grass clippings and wood larger than 1/4 inch in diameter to avoid stalling material breakdown.
To avoid attracting pests, odors, and a too-slow breakdown of materials, do not compost:
• Meat, fish or dairy products
• Grease or oils of any kind
• Manure or animal waste
• Yard waste treated with pesticides
• Severely diseased plants
Some resources that will get you started include: