Composting

Small actions can make a big impact. Thanks for doing your part to help preserve our planet for future generations.

Countertop Compost Bin

Made from stainless steel, the silver bin mixes well with any decor and discretely holds food scraps until you’re ready to transfer them to an outdoor compost area.

What is Composting?

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into
fertilizer for plants. Anything that grows decomposes eventually. Composting speeds up the process
by providing an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposing organisms to do their
work. The resulting decomposed matter is called compost.

Composting Materials

All compostable materials are either carbon- (browns) or nitrogen-based (greens), and the key to a good compost pile is to have the correct balance between the two. A healthy compost pile should have more carbon than nitrogen (two parts brown to one-part green).

  • Carbon-based matter gives the compost its light, fluffy body.
  • Nitrogen or protein-rich matter provide raw materials for making enzymes.
  • Carbon materials allow oxygen to penetrate the organisms that reside in the compost (aerates the compost). Too much nitrogen makes the compost dense and smelly.

What To Compost¹:

Browns:

  • Hay and straw
  • Dead leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded black and white newspaper
  • Hair and fur (no chemicals or dyes)
  • Non-glossy paper and envelopes
  • Cardboard
  • Shredded 100% cotton materials
  • Dust Bunnies

Greens:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grass clippings
  • Eggshells
  • Tea leaves and tea bags
  • Stale bread
  • Cooked pasta and rice

What Not To Compost:

  • Human or pet waste
  • Meats and dairies
  • Fats, grease lard or oils
  • Plastics
  • Coal or charcoal ashes
  • Chemically treated materials
  • Diseased or invasive plants
  • Bones
  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides

How To Compost²

1. Select your food scraps.
2. Store the food scraps in your BLACK+DECKER® Countertop Compost Bin.
3. Choose a place to make your compost - outdoor compost, community garden, etc.
4. Make the compost mix - "Green and Browns" - layer greens and browns starting with the browns to allow for aeration. The number of layers depends on your space and amount of food scraps. Keep the layers to an inch or two. You can put a little bit of browns on the top to keep away flies and odors. (Remember 2:1 brown to green ratio). Turn the compost to mix thoroughly.
5. Maintain the compost - Check that the compost is slightly damp and add water when needed. Turn the compost 5-10 rotations at least 2-3 times a week.
6. Removing the compost - the compost is done when it's dark and crumbly with an earthy smell. Empty the composter into a bucket, wheelbarrow, or tarp, and use in your garden.

Benefits Of Composting¹¹

Good for the Environment:

  • Recycle kitchen and yard waste - By composting, you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. According to the EPA, composting reduces up to 30% of household waste that is usually thrown in the garbage.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions - Organic waste in landfills does not have the air needed to decompose quickly, creating harmful methane gas that increases the rate of climate change.
  • Safe for the environment - Compost is a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers, protecting local water supplies from harmful runoff.

Good For Your Garden:

  • Attracts beneficial organisms - Microscopic organisms help aerate the soil, break down organic materials for plants, and keep plants healthy.
  • Improves soil health - Adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain soil moisture.

Composting Troubleshooting

    Sift clumps out and return them to the composter while removing the usable compost. When composting larger materials, chop or shred them into smaller pieces to speed up the process.³

    Add more browns to the compost.⁴

    Your compost is not getting enough oxygen. Unclog any blocked vents in the composter. Turn or tumble the composter more frequently.⁵

    Drain as much liquid as possible out of the composter and add more browns to the compost.⁶

    Turn or tumble the compost to mix the material thoroughly. Add more water if the edges seem too brown or dry.⁷

    Add water or greens to the compost. During winter, cool temperatures might slow or halt the composting process. Try moving the composter if it is in a cool or windy area.⁸

    Make sure you are not putting any meats or fats in the composter. Push larger pieces of food waste into the center of the compost.⁹

    Bugs are okay in moderation. Microorganisms help break down larger chunks of compost. If the compost is slimy, clean the composter out completely and restart.¹⁰

    [1] See “How to Compost At Home”, National Public Radio, last updated April 9, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home (discussing what to compost addressed in this section)
    [2] See “How to Compost At Home”, National Public Radio, last updated April 9, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home (discussing how to compost addressed in this section)
    [3] “Composting in the Home Garden”, University of Illinois Extension, https://web.extension.illinois.edu/compost/process.cfm
    [4] “Diagnosing common backyard composting problems”, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, August 2011, https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-hhw1-22.pdf
    [5] “Diagnosing common backyard composting problems”
    [6] “How to Start Composting at Home”, Healthline, last updated June 2, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/composting-beginners-guide
    [7] “Composting in the Home Garden”
    [8] “Diagnosing common backyard composting problems”
    [9] “Diagnosing common backyard composting problems”
    [10] “Diagnosing common backyard composting problems”
    [11] See “Composting at Home”, Environmental Protection Agency, last updated April 1, 2021, https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home (discussing benefits of composting addressed in this section).

    For more information on what you can and cannot compost, visit the EPA’s website: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home