Ways (Waste) to compost

8 comments / Posted on by Hari Prasad

Ways (Waste) to compost

Plants are the best companions in this world. They won't ask you anything, except a little bit of care. If you show affection towards the plants, in turn, it shows affection on you. When it comes to caring the plants - watering, growing medium and providing essential nutrients plays a very important role. Plants need nutrients rich soil to grow well. Compost is the major source of nutrients for the soil. So, you need to use good compost for the soil. Instead of buying chemical composts, you can prepare compost at home. The process of decomposing the organic waste in order to utilize the nutrients present in it for the plants is called Composting. You can compost all biodegradable wastes produced in the day to day life. There are two types of composting process namely Aerobic process and Anaerobic process. The Aerobic process takes place in the presence of air while the Anaerobic process takes place in the absence of air. Let us discuss about the effective composting methods which work on these processes.

 

Where do you compost?

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You need to first decide where you are going to compost the food waste. If you would like to compost at home that is well and good. If you are not willing to compost at home, you need to choose Community Composting.

 

What is Community composting?

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The system of collecting the food waste or precisely biodegradable waste, from the people and training them about the composting and its importance is Community Composting. This system is very much practiced in Texas, Florida, New York and other States in the USA. There are many organizations which provide bins to compost and train them. Some apartments in India have started similar process in a smaller scale. The residents are asked to separate the dry waste and wet waste. Every morning, the housekeeping staff collects the waste from the residents. The dry waste are disposed for recycling while the wet waste is composted. This system is yet to be introduced to India in a larger scale. If introduced, the major problem caused by the generation of day to day biodegradable waste can be solved. 

As we do not have such system everywhere in India, the option which we have is composting at home. Here are some of the simple ways to compost at home.

 

1. Composting in a Pit

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Pit composting is one of the simple ways to compost the organic food waste. There are no complications or specific procedures involved in it. You need to dig a hole or trench and bury the organic waste in the soil. Once you bury the organic waste, no need to worry about the composting for six months to one year. The microbes present in the soil convert the organic waste and turns it into compost. This is the best way to enrich the soil and does not require any special types of equipment.

 


Advantages:

a. This method can be utilized at any place in your garden. It does not require specific place.

b. No additional materials are needed as we are composting the organic waste obtained at home and burying it.

c. You can compost any amount of organic matter.

d. Needs minimal effort and low labor.

Disadvantages:

a. This process is effective only if you have a big space around.

b. It is a lengthy process, takes six months to one year to compost the organic matter.

c. You cannot take out the compost and utilize it for potted plants.

 

2. Composting in a container with aeration ( Aerobic process )

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Bin composting is one of the easy methods for implementing in urban homes. As the bin requires less space to accommodate, it can be easily used in the urban homes. This process can be easily done using the household materials available. You need just a container to convert the organic waste into compost. You need to pile up the organic waste inside the container and let it convert. Cover the container with a plastic sheet or a plank of wood to help retain moisture and heat. Use a rake to give the pile a quick turn to provide aeration once in a week. Within 2 - 3 months, your pile should start forming compost that is dry, dark brown and crumbly. As the container is almost kept open, there are chances of getting the foul smell and flies surrounding the container.

 

Advantages:

a. It consumes less space. So it is easy to use in urban homes.

b. It does not require any special types of equipment. You can utilize the containers available in your household.

c. You can harvest the compost from the bin and utilize it to the potted plants.

Disadvantages:

a. Cannot harvest in large scale.

b. As the container is kept open, you may get foul smell if the organic waste is not converted effectively.

c. There are chances of mosquitoes and other flies surrounding the container and creates inconvenient atmosphere.

 

3. Composting in a closed bin (Anaerobic process )

Composting in a closed bin is a convenient way to compost the organic waste in urban areas and suburban areas. This process is carried out using an airtight bin to avoid air intervention. As the bin is closed tightly, heat is generated inside the bin which kills the harmful bacterias or pathogens present in the organic waste. You need to add a layer of organic waste and a layer of soil into the bin. As there is no interaction with air, there won't be sufficient microbes to convert the organic waste. We need to add the microbes to the organic waste externally. So we need to add soil to the bin. You can also get composter kits in the nearby gardening stores or online gardening websites. You get all the essential components to compost the organic waste. The whole process takes about 45 to 50 days to convert the food waste.

Advantages:

a. The bin is compact, it does not consume much space.

b. No need to worry about foul smell and flies as the bin will be closed tightly.

c. You can harvest the compost and utilize for potted plants.

 

Disadvantages:

a. As the bin is kept closed most of the times, we need to add the microbes externally through soil or bokashi powder.

b. Cannot compost in large quantity.

4. Composting with Rotating composter method

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Rotating composter technique is very helpful in composting the food waste effectively. This can be implemented in small urban areas. A drum is suspended horizontally to the supporting stands slightly above the ground level. Both the ends of the drum is sealed and a small opening is made in the center of the drum. The food waste is added through this opening. You need to add soil to the food waste as there is no contact with the ground. As the bin is suspended, it can be easily rotated which helps the food waste in mixing with the soil. As the drum is closed, no need to worry about the flies.

Advantages:

a. The whole setup is compact and hence can be implemented in urban households.

b. The rotation of the bin helps in the conversion of the food waste easily.

c. This process can be done with minimal effort.

Disadvantages:

a. Cannot compost in a large scale.

b. As the drum is closed, we need to add the microbes externally through soil or Bokashi powder.

 

5. Compost heap method

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This is one of the simplest and commonly used composting methods around the world. As the name itself suggests, you need to make a heap of biodegradable materials and soil. There is no need of any additional materials. The microbes present naturally in the soil converts the organic wastes and converts it into compost. This technique is generally practiced in a large space where the bigger heap can be made and composted. 

 

Advantages:

a. You can compost large quantity of organic waste. 

b. This method can be utilized at any place in your garden. It does not require specific place.

c. No additional materials are needed as we are composting the organic waste obtained at home and burying it. 

d. Needs minimal effort and low labor.

e. You can harvest the compost and utilize it for potted plants.

 

Disadvantages:

a. This process is effective only if you have a big space around.

b. It is a lengthy process, takes six months to one year to compost the organic matter.

c. As the process takes place in open field, there are chances of mosquitoes and other flies surrounding the heap and creates inconvenient atmosphere.

 

6. Vermiculture method or Vermicompost

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The process of cultivating earthworms in order to convert organic waste into fertilizer is called Vermiculture. You can implement this method in a container. Fill the container with layers of food waste and soil. Add some earthworms to the container. The worms feed on the organic waste and produce nutrient-rich manure in the form of excreta. This manure is called Vermicompost. This compost will be rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium compared to other composts. 

 

Advantages:

a. It consumes less space. So it is easy to use in urban homes.

b. It does not require any special types of equipment. You can utilize the containers available in your household.

c. You can harvest the compost from the bin and utilize it to the potted plants.

d. It is 100% organic process as we are using earthworms for the conversion.

Disadvantages:

a. Cannot compost in a large scale.

b. As the drum is closed, we need to add the microbes externally through soil or Bokashi powder.

c. Earthworms cannot digest the meat. So you cannot compost meat in this process.

 

8 comments

  • Posted on by Anthony F. C. Gonsalves

    Good information for a novice like me

  • Posted on by Bishwadeep Mishra

    Good information. can I use cowdung for composting? which type of soil & fertilizers are required for adenium plants.

  • Posted on by Neeru Kaushal

    I eagerly await any input you post via your blog. I’m using most of your products both personally & comercially.

  • Posted on by Niraja Mohanty

    Thanks for the information

  • Posted on by rekha nayak

    wer can i get worms to do vermicompost??

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