DIY Composting using a Plastic Container

DIY Compost Bin
Photo Attribution: 
Tim Musson / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

We have all seen it; a rotting banana or a floored apple slowly melting into the earth, becoming one with it. This is the process of decomposing, and the practice of composting is simply the spin-off of that action. Compost is the end result of decomposed matter controlled by man. Essentially, composting is the recycling of decomposed organic matter into nutritious soil. Compost is generally used in landscaping and organic gardening.

A successful compost needs to contain a simple mixture of carbon and nitrogen matter along with moisture, ventilation and patience. Nitrogen matter refers to items such as scrapes of fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, house plants and grass clippings while carbon matter refers to items such as leaves, bark, shredded newspaper and straw. This mixture slowly breaks down into rich compost after a period of time; usually a few weeks to a few months (depending on the size of the compost). Composting is incredibility rewarding and beneficial; doing so keeps such matter out of landfills, strengthens the soil and encourages the growth of healthy plant life.

Composting is a relatively easy process that can be done either inside the home or out by anyone willing. While bins are not necessary to create a successful outdoor composts, most 'newbies' prefer to house their heap in a container. Containers are cleaner and neater and allow for greater control, and are also better options for those of us with limited space in urban areas. Below is a quick guide to composting in a plastic container.

Do it Yourself Composting using a Plastic Containers:

Gather your Items: To start your composting project you will need a medium to large plastic storage bin such as a Rubbermaid container and your carbon and nitrogen matter. You will also need a drill for drilling your ventilation holes.

Designate a Composting Spot: Typical compost containers can be housed in a garage, or a basement, a shed or outside the kitchen, near your garden or on the porch.

Ready your Bin: Ready your bin by drilling holes all over it; on the bottom, on the sides and on the lid.

Occupy your Container: Fill your compost bin with your leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, grass clippings and other such donations.

Care for your Bin: In order to create a healthy compost you will need to care for your bin. Compost bins need movement to instill aeration and encourage the breaking down of matter. So, shake your bin or turn it with a gardening rake least once a day. Also, you need to keep your compost slightly moist, not overly wet, so spray if it gets too dry.

Collect your Compost: You will know when your compost is ready; your heap will look like rich dark forest grounds. You will still need to sift your compost to catch and returned any matter not completely composted. You can sift with a screen, colander or with a store purchased compost sifter. Store your compost or use it straightaway in your gardening or landscaping projects.

Composting in plastic containers can be done any time of the year; it is an inexpensive and convenient choice, it is also clean and does not require very much space for success. Composting is wonderful form of recycling your food waste and minimizing your trash. It is a science experiment and a simple way to contribute organic mulching back into the earth.

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