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  Compost
Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic matter. It is a process whereby; biodegrable organic matter is broken down by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen. The product of this process is compost, which benefits the environment as a natural fertilizer for gardening and farming. By recycling the organic material, valuable nutrients and organic matter are recycled, hence, alleviating the solid waste problem.

 

Click here to find out different ways of composting

Composting Formula

Four key ingredients of composting are brown material, green material, air and water. Green and brown materials are biodegradable organic matter that forms the main ingredient for composting. Green materials are rich in nitrogen and brown materials are rich in carbon. It is important to have a 50:50 ratio by weight of green and brown in a compost pile. Air and water is important for aeration and provide moisture for decomposer organisms. Complete and perfect compost should be friable, cool, dark in colour and exude an earthy smell.

 

 

Compost Pit

Dig two pits (3ft x 3ft x 3ft). The pits should be situated in a place exposed to sun and air. Put small twigs at the bottom and place a hollow tube for air circulation. Place the kitchen waste or food scraps into the pit and cover with sufficient soil to ensure that no odour comes out from the pits. If a single fly is seen hovering around the pit, add more soil to cover the food scraps. Do not compact the soil but allow it to loosely cover the content of the pit and ensure that the soil adequately covers the kitchen waste. Keep compost pit moist and moderately wet. Repeat the process until the pit is full. Move to the second pit while waiting for the first pit to be decomposed. During heavy rain, cover the pit with a piece of wood or plastic to prevent too much water from entering it. Decomposition will take place within 3 to 4 weeks for small pits and 3 to 4 months for big pits. To test if the compost is done, scoop a little portion from the top of the pit and if no foul odour emanates from it, decomposition is complete and it is ready for use.

Flowering Pot Composting

Lay a layer of gravel or stones at the bottom of the pot for aeration.
Put a layer of soil (about 2 inches) on top of it. Put in green materials and cover loosely with a layer of soil.
For the next layer, put in brown materials and cover loosely with a layer of soil. At every layer that is covered up by soil make sure to water it (damp).
Do this alternately until the pot is full  and move to the next pot.
It is important to make sure all holes and crevices are covered with soil to avoid pest and pets from digging up the food.
During the decomposition process, make sure your compost is moist and well aerated. Oxygen is important for your compost in order to avoid the anaerobic process from taking place. Once in a while, try to fork some holes into your compost as this allows aeration. Please note that there should not be any bad odour during the process except for an earthy/natural scent. The compost will be ready for use in 4 to 6 months.

Plastic Bag Composting

Punch hole in plastic bags (for aeration). Put a layer of soil at the bottom and alternate your brown materials until it is full. Tie the bags neatly and hang with hooks on fences or stacked up neatly. Remember to keep contents moist. Compost will be ready for use in 4 -5 weeks.