Composting is the process of breaking down organic matter e.g. food waste in the presence of air and water, using microorganisms and small insects present in nature. The compost produced is rich in readily usable plant nutrients, forming a part of a healthy top soil. Citizens can participate in solid waste management by composting food waste, as half of what we garbage in domestic settings daily is organic matter.
To create compost, the composting organisms require 4 conditions:
- The right amount of water
- Carbon from brown organic matter e.g. dried leaves, sawdust, paper, etc.
- Oxygen from the atmosphere
- Nitrogen from fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc.
Here are 6 easy steps to compost your kitchen waste;
- Separate your edible kitchen waste like vegetable peels, fruit peels, small amounts of wasted cooked food, etc. in a container.
- Collect dry organic matter e.g. dried leaves, sawdust, etc. in another container.
- Take a large earthen pot or bucket and drill 4 – 5 holes around the container at different levels to let air inside.
- Line the bottom of the earthen pot/bucket with a layer of soil.
- Now start adding food waste in layers alternating wet waste (food scraps, vegetable and fruit peels) with dry waste (sawdust, dried leaves).
- Cover this container with a plastic sheet or a plank of wood to help retain moisture and heat.
Every few days, use a rake to give the pile a quick turn to provide aeration. If you think the pile is too dry, sprinkle some water so that it is moist (not wet/soaked).
Within 2 – 3 months, your pile should start forming compost that is dry, dark brown and crumbly, and can be used in your farms and gardens.