Home composting of yard waste and select kitchen waste takes materials that could wind up in a landfill and converts it into compost, a useful product for our South Florida gardens.
It also avoids the energy and carbon emissions associated with transportation of this material to a centralized final disposal site.
Anything that was a plant can be composted.
Miami-Dade County's Department of Solid Waste Management is hosting home composting workshops in cooperation with the Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension.
Items That can be Composted
Materials that come from plants contain nitrogen and carbon, which over time can decompose. That material can then be used as a slow-release fertilizer, a soil amendment, in your potting soil, or in your raised-bed vegetable garden.
In addition, home composting helps the environment as it is waste that is not transported to a landfill.
The following materials known as "greens" are high in nitrogen:
- Grass clippings
- Green leaves
- Fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
The following materials known as "browns" are high in carbon:
- Brown leaves
- Paper coffee filters
- Stale cereals and rice
- Crushed egg shells
- Chipped tree branches
Composting materials should be chipped or shred so individual items are no more than two to three inches long. Materials should then be placed in a composting bin.
After building the compost pile, the compost will heat up due to biological activity and will settle as the materials decompose. To speed up the process, "turn" the compost about once a week.
It’s ready to use when it has a uniform look, dark color, small particle size and an earthy odor. Most of the materials you put in will no longer be recognizable. It is now ready for use.
When done correctly, compost is not smelly, and does not attract unwanted wildlife and pests.
December 8, 2018
Learn how to compost
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Pinecrest Branch Library, 5835 SW 111 St., Pinecrest
December 12, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
Visit the IFAS Extension calendar events page to register.
Workshop participants may receive a voucher (one per household, Miami-Dade residents only) for a free compost bin.