Choosing a Compost System

Choosing the right method, or, better yet, a combination of compost methods, is important. There are a lot of different ways to compost organic waste. Some methods don't require any special tools or even a compost bin. Other methods rely on the design of a compost bin to speed up the process. Some cost a lot of money and some don't cost very much at all. Some methods are only suitable for small quantities of waste and others can handle large volumes. Some require more work than others and some require that you have a higher level of technical knowledge about the composting process. Not all composting methods are suitable for all types of organic wastes.

The best thing you can do is to pick and choose a combination of the methods and tools available to create a compost system that will suit your budget, the type and volume of waste you have, your technical knowledge and your enthusiasm.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

  • What materials would you like to compost?
    • Food scraps, grass clippings, yard and garden waste, leaves, livestock manure?
  • How much waste do you have?
    • Kitchen scraps from a two person household?
    • Or do you have a dozen kids, a half acre lawn and six horses?
  • How much space do you have?
    • Allow room for your compost bin, room for storage of raw materials like wood chips and other bulking agents, and you will probably need some room for a compost curing pile.
  • Why are you composting?
    • Are you highly motivated? Some people really want the compost for their garden, and they really want to keep all those valuable nutrients out of the landfill and they really like the idea that they are not only saving money but they are also saving the planet.
    • Other folks think all of the above are nice ideas, but they really just want some place to put the grass clippings and would really just rather go fishing.