Composting is Easy
Don’t worry, it’s easy to begin composting and we have five simple steps to get you started:
Step One: Purchase/Build Your Compost Bin
There are many types of compost bins, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking at composting right away, let the City of Wetaskiwin hook you up! We sell large compost bins for $65, and kitchen compost containers for $5. Call 780.361.4400 for more information.
Step Two: Find a Good Location for Your Bin
Choose a site that is level, well drained, and is easily accessible all year round. Place your bin directly on top of the soil rather than on concrete or pavement. This ensures that worms and other beneficial organisms can make their way into your compost pile. Remove any grass or plants under/around your bin and turn the soil to a depth of six to eight inches.
Step Three: Know What You Can and Cannot Compost
Composting ingredients are generally divided into two types of materials: brown and green. While It’s important to know what you can add to your compost pile (see the brown and green lists below) you should also be aware of what not to add. Items such as vegetable fats and dairy products simply slow down the composting process by excluding oxygen that helpful organisms need to do their job. Other materials are dangerous to add because of the chance of poisoning or disease. Human and pet feces, chemically or pressure treated wood or sawdust, and meat and animal fats should never be added to your compost pile.
Step Four: Making Great Compost
Making great compost is like making a giant layer cake. Start with a four inch layer of brush, twigs, hay or straw at the bottom of the bin. Then add a four inch layer of brown material, and top it off with a thin layer of finished compost or good garden soil. This is one layer.
Then add a four inch layer of green material topped with a thin layer of compost or soil. Moisten each layer by misting it lightly with a garden hose. Keep adding materials in alternating layers of green and brown materials until the bin is full.
Once you have a full bin you can turn the pile every 14 days or so. The more you turn the pile the faster you will have finished compost.
Step Five: Using Your Compost
Congratulations! Your compost is ready to use! It will take anywhere from 14 days to 12 months to produce finished compost, depending on the materials and methods used.