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What is Compost?

Compost is a collection of organic material that has decomposed over time to produce a complex soil additive. It is extremely rich in nutrients and can revitalize the soil microbiology in your landscaping and garden beds. Finished compost is a stable material with a content called humus which is a dark brown or black dirt-like substance, and has a soil-like, earthy smell. 

Compost is created by:

  1. Combining organic wastes, such as food waste and yard trimmings, in the right ratios into piles, rows, or vessels.
  2. Adding bulking agents such as wood chips, silt, perlite, and other resources as necessary to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials; and
  3. Allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through the curing process.

Finished compost is then used in agriculture, gardening, and landscaping to increase the biodiversity of the soil, helping plants grow faster and stronger in different climates.

Why Compost?

You likely already get waste collection service at your local residence that includes general waste and recycling, but may also include separate landscaping material pickup. None of these services include food scrap composting, adding an unnecessary 30% of waste to local landfills.

A landfill can be made up of up to 30% compostable materials

Here’s just a few reasons to compost:

  • Organic waste in landfills generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By composting wasted food and other organics, methane emissions are significantly reduced.
  • Compost reduces, and in some cases eliminates, the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Compost promotes higher yields of agricultural crops.
  • Compost can help aid reforestation, wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization efforts by improving contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils.
  • Compost can be used to remediate soils contaminated by hazardous waste in a cost effective manner.
  • Compost can capture and destroy 99.6 percent of industrial volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in contaminated air.
  • Compost enhances water retention in soils.
  • Compost provides carbon sequestration.

Additionally, nationally, the composting of food rose from 1.84 million tons in 2013 (5.0 percent of food) to 2.1 million tons (5.3 percent of food) in 2015. In 2015, Americans recovered over 67.7 million tons of MSW (municipal solid waste) through recycling, and over 23 million tons through composting. This is 1.16 pounds per person per day for recycling and 0.4 pounds per person per day for composting. Food composting collection programs served over 3.8 million households in 2015.

What is Compostable?

Food scrap composting is a complex science, and Compost Queen is working to expand the list of accepted organic waste. Most recently, we started accepting dairy products and cooked meats/bones. Stay tuned for more! 

Below is a list of our acceptable and unacceptable materials. 

Accepted

If you can eat it or grow it, we can compost it. We like to call this “little o” organics. 
  • Fruits and vegetables; the peelings, pits, cores, stems, bad parts, etc.
  • Cooked meats and bones
  • Coffee grounds and unbleached filters
  • Tea (NOT the bags, as not all tea bags are compostable)
  • Egg shells
  • Bread and cereal
  • Nut shells
  • Old herbs and spices
  • Old mulch, dirt, topsoil
  • Yard trimmings
  • Grass clippings
  • Hay/straw
  • Fireplace ashes (from wood/paper only)
  • Pet hair/fur
  • Feathers
  • Newspaper

Not Accepted

  • “Compostable” containers or flatware
  • Coal ashes
  • Animal Waste
  • Manure or solid waste
  • Diseased plants
  • Paper (excluding newspaper)
  • Paper Towels
  • Chemicals
  • Bindweed
  • Tissues
  • Plastics
  • Pizza Boxes
  • Fruit Stickers
  • Twist Ties
  • Rubber Bands
  • Cardboard