Backyard vs. Large-Scale Composting

Backyard composting can be done using a variety of different systems, enclosures, or containers. Composting systems or bins can be constructed at home or purchased commercially. Depending on where you live, youmay have a problem with rodents if vegetative food wastes are combined with yard wastes. If so, an enclosed space or bin is advisable. The methods employed will vary somewhat depending on the system you choose, but the principles and purpose remain the same. This is true for large-scale composting projects as well. 

Some municipalities collect yard waste at the curbside similar to the way recyclables are collected. It is taken to a central location and formed into windrows, triangular-shaped rows from 5 to 8 feet high and as long as necessary. Turning for aeration is done about once a month using a front-end loader or other type of heavy equipment made specifically for that purpose. The temperature and moisture are checked twice a week. The finished compost may be sold, given away, or used by the municipality in public works projects. Backyard composting eliminates the environmental and economic costs of the heavy equipment used to bring yard waste to a composting site and turn the windrows.


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