Friday, April 28, 2017

4 Ways to Compost Kitchen Waste at Home-How to make Organic Manure from Kitchen Waste

Composting is nature's process of recycling. Composting biodegrades organic waste into a rich soil known as compost. Composting is done by billions of microbes (bacteria, fungi) that digest the kitchen waste and turn into compost. I personally do not like to waste my kitchen waste and find satisfaction and happiness in converting my kitchen waste into manure. I use that organic manure for my small organic kitchen garden. By composting we can reduce the amount of garbage we needlessly send to the landfills for disposal. It keeps our city clean, preserves the soil, prevents air pollution and make this earth a better place to live. Nearly 60% or more of the daily waste generated in our households is made up of organic matter which can be easily converted into compost. Today I am sharing with you 4 ways to compost at home or how to make organic manure from kitchen waste all of which I am doing on a regular basis.

Segregate your household waste 

The first step to composting is segregation of waste

I have two dustbins in my home.

One is for kitchen waste (vegetable, fruit scraps, peels, egg shells, coffee grounds etc and other organic matters).

The other one is for toxic waste (glass, plastic, medicines, wrappers, used batteries etc).

I recycle newspapers, milk covers, plastic cans and glass bottles.

Tips - You can have green color dustbin for organic waste and red one for toxic waste.

What to compost? How should I compost ?

As we have seen earlier that composting is done by billions of microbes (bacteria, fungi) that digest the kitchen waste and turn into compost. These composting microorganisms, require the correct proportion of Carbon  and Nitrogen for it to do its work. Effective composting can be made with equal parts GREENS and BROWNS. Now let us move to what is GREENS and BROWNS?

Green matter = High nitrogen

Vegetable and fruit peels and scraps (except citrus fruits)
Coffee grounds
Tea bags
Flowers
Grass clippings
Egg shells (has to be crushed before adding)

Brown matter = High carbon

Dry leaves
Saw dust
Small wood chips
Straw or hay
Wood ash

What not to add 

Cooked food as it decays and gives a bad odour, so it is best to avoid adding it.
Meat, bones as it attracts rats and smells bad
Pet waste
Batteries
Diseased plants
Medicines
Plastic bags


#1. Composting Using Kambha 

I am using Kambha from Daily Dump (you can buy Kambha from Dailydump.org, it comes in different shapes and colors) which comes with ready made  holes and also it can be stacked and placed in a shady corner in the garden. It should be kept in the shade and should be protected from rain. You can cover it with a plastic sheet in case of heavy rain.

It comes in 3 units which can be stacked one on top of the other. Unit A, Unit B, Unit C and a lid.

The middle unit B is interchangeable with the top unit A. Unit A and B comes with plastic woven wire at the bottom.

The bottom Unit or Unit C is for storing the almost done compost and does not have plastic woven wire and is close at the bottom. It remains always in the bottom.

Kambha-composter-Composting Pot

First step is preparing your Kambha 

The bottom Unit C should be layered with 4 inches of dried leaves that acts like a bed for the water that gets discharged during decomposition.

Place a paper or newspaper in unit A to cover the weave. This is done to prevent waste from falling through the plastic weave to the bottom most unit C.

Then layer with dry leaves (pic below). You can also add 4 fistful of remix powder which is available in dailydump store. I did not add.    

how to compost kitchen waste

The add your organic kitchen waste. If time permits, you can shred it into smaller pieces and add as it will fasten the process of composting.

How to make organic manure from kitchen waste

Cover it with saw dust or dry leaves. We will call this "Pile". Every time you add your kitchen waste (greens), you have to cover it with dry leaves or saw dust (browns). Waste should not be visible. Then cover it with a newspaper (to prevent flies) and close it with a lid.

composting using terracotta pots

Give it a good mix using a small rake or a stick twice a week for good aeration. Add a little buttermilk or semi composted material to start off the decomposition process.

Check the moisture level every time, you mix the pile. Sprinkle a little water and mix well, if the pile is dry. Add more BROWNS, if it is wet or soggy and mix well.

Once Unit A is full, shift Unit A to the middle and bring Unit B to the top.

Start filling Unit B - follow the same process above.

When Unit B is full, empty the half done compost from Unit A to Unit C to mature. Then shift Unit A to the top and start filling it with waste following the same process above. Like this you have to interchange Unit A and Unit B. Unit C will always remain in the bottom.

It will take 2-3 months to fully compost depending on the temperature.

Once compost in Unit C is done, sieve it and use it. You can add the remains back to the Unit A or B.
A fully done compost is dark brown and smells like earth.

All your organic waste is converted into nutritious manure for plants. I call this the "black gold" which I use for my ORGANIC KITCHEN GARDEN.

compost


#2.How to compost using a plastic bucket or a pot.

You will need

Any old plastic bucket or terracotta pot

Kitchen waste and dry leaves (greens and browns)

First step is to drill two or even three rows of holes on the sides and some holes on the bottom of the bucket. Let us name this Bucket A.  Keep the bucket raised off the surface so that air can circulate underneath. This will ensure aeration and proper drainage of water. Keep a tray at the bottom of the bucket to collect the water discharged during decomposition. This water is called "leachate". It can be diluted and added to plants.

Preparing the bucket/terracotta post for composting

Line the bottom of the bucket with a layer of soil. Now add your kitchen waste (green matter) and cover it with saw dust or dry leaves (brown matter).

Add a little buttermilk or semi composted material or even a little cow dung to start off the decomposition process. Keep it covered to prevent smell and to keep off insects. You can use any old wooden board or anything to cover it.

Mix the pile once or twice a week for aeration. If you find the pile dry, sprinkle some water and mix it well. If it is soggy, add more dry leaves or saw dust and give a good mix. Make sure the pile is damp. It should not be too dry nor too wet.

Keep adding a mix of greens and browns everyday until the bucket A is full.

While Bucket A is preparing the compost, you can use another bucket (let us name it Bucket B) and repeat the same process above. Make sure to stir both Bucket A and B twice a week.

You can have a Bucket C for storing almost done compost.

It will take 45-60 days to fully compost depending on the temperature.


#3.Composting by digging a pit 

If you have space in your garden or backyard, dig a small pit and follow the same process above. Keep the pit covered to keep away pests. The same rule mentioned under "maintenance for any compost bin" applies for this also. You have to maintain the correct moisture level, turn the pile for aeration, add a mix of browns and greens. You can add cow dung to start the decomposition process.



#4.  Click the link to know about Composting by using a Holding Unit


MAINTENANCE FOR ANY COMPOST BIN or KAMBHA

I am practicing all the methods of composting mentioned above with success. Whatever your method of composting, the same rule applies for composting. Read below -

1. Food

Microbes need 2 kinds of food to do their work. Green and Browns

Every time you add kitchen waste (greens), you should cover it with dry leaves or saw dust (browns). There should be an equal mix of green matter- (nitrogen) and brown matter (carbon) for the microorganisms to their work.

2.Air

Proper aeration is ensured by turning or mixing the pile at regular intervals.

3.Water

Check the moisture level every time you mix the pile. If the pile is too dry, decomposition will not take place. Sprinkle needed water and mix the pile well evenly.

If it is too wet, the pile will have lot of maggots and also the pile will stink. So maintaining the correct moisture level is important.

Tips for faster decomposition

The smaller the pieces, the faster the decomposition. So if I find time, I will shred the vegetable and fruit scraps into smaller pieces and add  to the bin.

Add a little buttermilk or semi composted material or even a little cow dung to start off the decomposition process.

Use the organic manure/fertilizer for your plants. Let us not waste our kitchen waste and let us contribute in small ways towards reducing landfill waste, preventing air pollution and preserving the natural landscape and make this earth a safe and happy place to live. Happy Composting!!

5 comments:

  1. how do you recycle milk cover , paper etc. Milk cover difficult I would like to follow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use all one side papers. Milk covers and all scraps, I get rid of it via a kabadiwala.They use for recycling.

      Delete

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