Keep it out of the landfill: The basics of making home compost in the desert

unknown-1Borderlands Food Bank has many partners that use our no longer edible produce to make compost that enriches the soil for their home garden plants. Zero waste is important to us, check out the composting in the desert information from University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension program.

What Is Compost?

Compost is decomposed organic matter, produced by the work of millions of bacteria, fungi, and other naturally occurring soil organisms. Good compost is very dark in color and smells sweet like forest soil. Compost can be incorporated into garden soil or spread on the soil surface as a mulch.

Why Compost?

Composting yard and kitchen waste:

  • reduces the amount of material sent to landfills;
  • saves money spent on fertilizers and soil amendments;
  • improves the water holding capacity of soil; and,
  • oosens hard desert soil so that roots can penetrate more easily, once it is incorporated.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26% of waste in landfills comes from kitchens and yards. Many Arizona cities have programs to encourage backyard composting. Visit your city’s public works website for more information.

Click here for more information on composting at home.

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