04-19-2013 11:30 AM
Can someone advise the instructions on how to create an odor free composte? I live in a townhouse so size is important. Not extremely handy with tools, but can do the basics. Thanks
04-19-2013 05:29 PM
Thank you for your question and welcome to our community. As you are well aware, compost piles can be very offensive to the olfactory senses, i.e.., the human nose. This aromatic stench comes from the decomposing plant material that is placed into your compost bin. The odor occurs when excess moist kitchen scrapes have been placed into your composting bin. As a result you have created a plethora of anaerobic bacteria. The byproduct of these little microbes is, in addition to heat, the awful smell that emanates from your composting bin. This is not very pleasant when you are in an enclosed or limited space environment.
The way to avoid this nasty aroma is to reduce the amount of moisture in your compost bin by adding shredded paper and cardboard. This addition will add air to the mix and valuable carbon to your compost mix. The over powering smell of a compost pile comes from a lack of oxygen, excess moisture and also a lack of aerobic bacteria. The addition of the paper scraps along with your moist kitchen scraps will not only balance out the excess moisture, but the paper scraps will also balance out the nitrogen in your compost pile as well as adding more of a binder to your composted material and it will add more air space to the mix as well. For more information on composing, you can check out this information from Cornell University "Science and Engineering of Composting."
In addition to your regular composting scraps from the kitchen as well, as the addition of the shredded paper and cardboard, you can also help to sped up this decomposition process by adding more of the beneficial microbes’ right from the start. Two products that you should be able to get from your local Home Depot Nursery are:
2. From Jobes-Organic Compost Starter.
Bothoftheseproductsaredesignedtospeedupthecompostingprocess. Youwillstillhavetoregularturnyourcompost, buttheadditionofeitheroftheseproductswillincreasetheefficiencyofyourcompostpileandspeeditonitswaytoproducinganutrientrichloamthatcanbeusedinyourflowerbedsorgarden.
For a small area, you might want to consider the Tumbling Compost Bin.
This handy item is designed for small spaces and makes it a very simple task to turn your composting material over on a regular basis. This item is available online with FREE shipping, or it may also be available at your local Home Depot in the Garden Department. Check you local Home Depot store for availability.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you. Be sure to take a video of your composting project and share it with the rest of the community in our Project Library under "I Did This".
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