How does a compost system work?

Asked By: Gimena OrroƱo | Last Updated: 15th February, 2020
Category: personal finance frugal living
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The process of composting is fueled by microorganisms present in soil that help break down organic materials within the waste, which is then converted into a fertilizer that can be used on lawns and gardens. Traditionally, home composting systems have been outdoor ventures involving piles or heaps.

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Similarly, it is asked, how does the composting process work?

Composting is an aerobic method (meaning that it requires the presence of air) of decomposing organic solid wastes. It can therefore be used to recycle organic material. The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus-like material, known as compost, which is a good fertilizer for plants.

Additionally, does compost need to be covered? No, an unfinished compost pile does not need to be covered in most cases. The most important factors for composting are air, water and a good mix of green and brown material. Covering a compost pile could cause a lack of oxygen, trap too much moisture and cause a smelly, anaerobic mess.

Subsequently, one may also ask, what are the methods of composting?

8 Methods of Composting

  • 8 Methods of Composting.
  • Open Air Composting. Open Air Composting is traditionally a pile of green and brown matter in your backyard.
  • Direct Composting.
  • Tumbler Composting.
  • Worm Farm Composting.
  • EMO Composting.
  • Combination Composting.
  • Commercial Composting.

Do compost bins attract rats?

Rats are attracted to compost bins and heaps as a source of food, shelter and as a warm dry place to nest.

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Should a compost bin be in the sun or shade?

You can put your compost pile in the sun or in the shade, but putting it in the sun will hasten the composting process. Sun helps increase the temperature, so the bacteria and fungi work faster. This also means that your pile will dry out faster, especially in warm southern climates.

How often should I turn my compost pile?

The rule of thumb for an active, hot pile is every three days until it stops heating up. Some over-enthusiastic composters rush out after a day and turn the pile. This is a bit too much of a good thing.

What should you not compost?

What NOT to Compost And Why
  • Meat, fish, egg or poultry scraps (odor problems and pests)
  • Dairy products (odor problems and pests)
  • Fats, grease, lard or oils (odor problems and pests)
  • Coal or charcoal ash (contains substances harmful to plants)
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants (diseases or insects might spread)

How do you know when compost is ready to use?


There are a few ways to tell if your compost is ready to use:
  • It looks like dark, crumbly topsoil.
  • It has a pleasant, earthy odor.
  • The original organic materials (with a few exceptions) should no longer be recognizable.
  • The compost pile should have shrunk by half the size.

What are the disadvantages of compost?

The main disadvantages of composting are the following: Windrow and aerated static pile composting require relatively large areas, and odor control is a common problem. Ambient temperatures and weather conditions influence windrow and aerated static pile composting.

What are the benefits of composting?

Benefits of Composting
  • Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.

How do you compost for beginners?

Start with a 4 inch layer of brush, twigs, hay or straw at the bottom of the bin. Then add a 4 inch layer of brown material, then a thin layer of finished compost or good garden soil. That's one layer. Then add a 4 inch layer of green material topped with a thin layer of compost or soil.

What should not go into a compost bin?

  1. Dog and Cat Poop. Horse, cow, chicken and rabbit droppings are great additions to your compost pile.
  2. Tea and Coffee Bags.
  3. Citrus Peels and Onions.
  4. Fish and Meat Scraps.
  5. Glossy or Coated Paper.
  6. Sticky Labels on Fruits and Vegetables.
  7. Coal Fire Ash.
  8. Sawdust From Treated Wood.

Can I put banana peels in my compost?


Composting banana peels is as easy as simply tossing your leftover banana peels into the compost. You can toss them in whole, but be aware that they may take longer to compost this way. While, yes, you can use banana peels as fertilizer and it will not harm your plant, it is best to compost them first.

Does a compost bin need a bottom?

Does a Compost Bin Need a Bottom? If you're building your compost bin from scratch, you don't usually need to add a bottom to it. Having composting materials sit directly on soil allows microorganisms, worms and insects — creatures that facilitate the composting process — to move from soil into compost.

Can you put Citrus in compost?

In years past, some people recommended that citrus peels (orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels, etc.) should not be composted. Not only can you put citrus peelings in a compost pile, they are good for your compost too.

Do compost bins smell?

A properly balanced compost pile should not smell bad. Compost should smell like dirt and if it does not, there is something wrong and your compost pile is not properly heating up and breaking down the organic material. There is one exception to this rule and that is if you are composting manure in your compost pile.

What do I put at the bottom of my compost bin?

If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs ensure there s a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom so the worms and other creatures can colonise.

Can you compost in the winter?


Compost all winter. Even though your compost might freeze solid and decomposition come to a complete stop, there is no need to stop composting. In fact, the freeze-thaw cycles will help to break down the materials that you are adding, so they will decompose even faster when the spring arrives.

Can you compost bread?

Yes, stale or moldy bread can be used in compost piles. Bread would be considered a green compost matter (source of nitrogen). Bread can attract pests and rodents so make sure the bread is well mixed into the compost pile. You can also speed up the composting process by tearing the bread into smaller pieces.

What is the best composting method?

What is the best compost method for you?
  • Community Compost. More and more municipalities offer green waste pickup.
  • Bokashi. A bokashi bucket is not technically* composting, but it is a good way to recycle your food waste in small spaces indoors.
  • Worm Bin.
  • Green Cone.
  • Black Soldier Flies.
  • Heap.
  • Sheet Mulch.
  • Trench or Pit.