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Making Compost is basically a recycling process that is done naturally. The process is done by several microbes namely fungi, bacteria and so on; which digest waste from the kitchen and make it compost. These days with most of us being environmentally conscious, this is a great way to recycle and make ‘best from waste’. Almost 60% of your household waste is the organic matter which can be easily used to make compost. Here we have given you some very simple ways by which you can make organic manure or compost from kitchen waste –
Household waste needs to be segregated – The very first step we all need to follow and which our Indian government has also been stressing on – is to segregate waste. You could keep two separate bins for this. Make one for kitchen waste and one is for other kinds of waste like batteries, medicines, wrappers, glass or plastic. You could also find ways to recycle your newspapers, plastic cans, milk covers or bottles. Check with your local authorities if there are any private or public recycling areas for such material.
Green and Brown Matter – Now when it comes to waste, we can once again segregate into a green matter which is considered to be high in nitrogen content and brown waste which is high in carbon content. The green matter is basically vegetable or fruit peels, scraps (not citrus), flowers, grass waste, tea bags, eggshells and coffee grounds. Brown matter consists of dry leaves, wood chips, wood ash, sawdust and straw (which does not necessarily come from a modern kitchen). Now, please keep in mind that it is best not to add cooked food as it can decay and give a horrible smell. Also, bones and meat can attract other nuisances like rats, etc. Pet waste, diseased plants, medicines and definitely no plastic bags either should be added. when Such organic compost is used, seed germination takes place easily.
The ideal ration of the matter – is 30 of brown and 1 of green. Though it is ideal, it is not steaded and fast rule and one can be flexible with the ratio depending on their availability. This being said, if you add too much brown material, the decomposition process might take longer. At the same time, too much green matter might make the smells and odors too strong and difficult to handle.
Composting with a pot or bucket –
Take a terracotta pot or plastic bucket. Make a few holes on the sides as well as the bottom. The bucket needs to be raised from the ground so that the bottom also gets ventilation and aeration. You can keep a tray below for the collection of water which is called the Leachate. This can be added to plants after dilution.
Now, you need to line the bottom with a soil layer. Then add the green matter – kitchen waste and then cover with some brown matter like dry leaves or sawdust. For the decomposition process to start you will need to add some buttermilk or cow dung. You can keep the bucket covered to keep away insects and bad odor. Once or twice in a week ensure that you give the pile a good mix. If it looks dry you can sprinkle some water too. In case it is too soggy, you can add more sawdust or dry leaves. You can make an addition of greens and browns on a daily basis until the bucket gets full. Depending on the temperature, it would take about a month or two for the compost to develop. Use this compost to grow your own vegetable and herbs garden at home.
Composting in a pit – If you have space, then you could dig a pit and do the same process as mentioned above. However, you will need to keep it well covered and ensure that pests are unable to reach it. The same rules apply to the moisture and aeration. For a pit, cow dung would be better.
Pointers for a faster process –
It is suggested that the stuff you use; use smaller pieces. For example, ensure that the peels or eggshells are smaller. Shred the fruit and veggie scraps into as small pieces as you can. This makes the mixing easier and fastens the decomposition. Semi composted material, buttermilk or some cow dung is necessary for the decomposition process to start.
Once this is done, ensure that you put the compost to good use. Use it in your garden, for your plants. It is a great thing that you are doing! So do not waste kitchen waste! It can actually be very satisfying in making your kitchen waste into compost and doing your bit for the environment. It is a good example to set for your children and others too. Composting reduces your garbage, preserves the soil, keeps your city cleaner, prevents air pollution and in general makes your surroundings a better place to live in.