City of Port Washington, Wisconsin

City of Port Washington - Tips For Going Green

Composting At Home

While Port Washington offers yard waste composting at the Street Yard, consider saving yourself a trip by composting a home! Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The Earth is also losing top soil due to erosion. Compost to amend the soil can slow down the rate of erosion.

There are many more benefits to composting than just listed above. Compost reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, water and promotes healthy growth in plants. It also can filter out pollutants in storm water. Adding it to clay soils can improve the physical structure of the soil. Microorganisms in compost can promote root growth, help plants take in nutrients, attract and promote the growth of earth worms that increase aerations and water infiltration, and subdue plant diseases.

So, it has been determined that composting is beneficial, but how do I start? There are three ingredients to compost: Browns, Greens and Water. Browns are yard waste materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs. Greens are materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds. The goal is to have at minimum an equal amount of Browns to Greens but generally more Browns are needed. Alternating layers of each are recommended unless you plan to mix your compost pile regularly. The right combination shouldn't smell or attract animals or insects. While the Green material will provide some moisture, the compost pile most likely will need to be watered. Water provides moisture to help break down the organic material. If you feel your compost giving off heat, that is a sign that the organic matter is being broken down and is on its way to becoming nutrient rich compost. Once it is cool it is more than likely ready to be put in the garden. If a finer texture is preferred, you can put your compost through a screen to sift out larger pieces that you can put right back into the composter.

There are many options available for composting bins. For example, large three bin systems for large families and communities or small indoor buckets for indoor composters. Did you know that shredded newspaper can be used for Browns? You may also consider a do-it-yourself project for constructing your composting bin, or maybe buying one from the local hardware store.

Looking for a more in-depth explanation of composting, or maybe some helpful tips? Check out these links!

Are you a business owner that is interested in composting for your business? Check out these links:

Looking for a do-it-yourself option? Take a look at these:


City of Port Washington Going Green Links At A Glance

Compost And Its Benefits

The Basics Of Composting

10 Tips For Making Better Compost

Composting: The Basics

Best Management Practices For Incorporating Food Residuals Into Existing Yard Waste Composting Operations

Compost At Work

Free Compost Bin Plans

Rotating Compost Bin

Mini Composter DIY

DIY Compost Bin

Composting & Landscaping At Home

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