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Definition: Composting

Composting is the act of turning organic waste — i.e., all plant- and animal-derived garbage — into mulch that can be used as fertilizer. Composting can be accomplished in several ways: Some people keep compost piles in their backyards and use the mulch in their gardens, where the nutrients provide food for important micro-organisms. City-dwellers often use odor-reducing compost bins, such as this Kitchen Compost Crock, since many cities now offer sidewalk compost pickup.

Why should you compost? Because according to the EPA, yard and food waste together make up nearly one-quarter of all U.S. waste. Almost all lawn trimmings can be added to a compost pile, as can most of the trash produced in your kitchen, including apple cores, veggie scraps, and the like. It is best to avoid putting dairy or meat products into a compost, since they can be very stinky and attract rodents.

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