Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream: A Guide to Small Scale Food and Yard Waste Composting

Publication Number: NRAES-43
Cost: $12.00
Length: 44 pages
ISBN: 0-935817-59-X

 Covers raw materials, the compost process, composting methods, pile construction, using compost, troubleshooting, and using the guide as an educational resource. Intended for home composters and educational programs.

This publication was awarded a blue ribbon in the 1991 ASAE Educational Aids Competition.


Manual Explains Methods and Benefits of Home Composting

For Immediate Release

April 2003 

With landfills reaching maximum capacity, many people want to find alternatives for garbage disposal that will benefit, rather than harm, their environment. Small scale composting can turn their organic yard and kitchen wastes - 20 to 30 percent of all waste - into valuable resources for lants and microorganisms.
A 48-page manual called Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream: A Guide to Small Scale Food and Yard Waste Composting, NRAES-43, explains the basics of composting and provides design information for simple home composting systems. The methods described in the manual even improve on the natural composting cycle. The publication was written by Nancy Dickson, Tellus Institute, Boston, Massachusetts; Thomas Richard, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cornell University; and Robert Kozlowski, Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Cornell University.

Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream explains how to construct and maintain a compost pile. It outlines factors affecting the composting process, including aeration, moisture, and temperature. Throughout the manual, numerous illustrative figures, tables, and diagrams clarify the details of home composting. An appendix to the manual provides step-by-step instructions for constructing compost bins.

The manual also outlines methods for using compost to enrich flower and vegetable gardens and improve the soil around trees and shrubs. It also contains a section on troubleshooting problems in the compost pile. Volunteers, teachers, and community leaders can use Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream to start educational programs on home composting. A section in the manual details how to reorganize the information for the needs of various audiences.

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