While preventing wasted food is the best thing you can do, all of us will have some leftovers and food scraps we can’t avoid and that’s where composting comes in.
What is composting?
Composting is a natural process where organic material, like leaves and food scraps, are broken down (decomposed) and made into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
Compost improves soil health by adding organic matter and nutrients and it even helps to retain water. Some people refer to compost as “black gold.”
There are many ways you can compost at home. Which method you select is up to you, but here are a few options:
■ Curbside collection – If you live within the City of Beaverton and have yard debris service, you can place your food scraps and yard waste into your compost bin. It’s whisked away to a local commercial composting company in North Plains and made into lovely compost that is used by local farms, landscapers and home gardeners. Visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/compost to learn more.
■ Backyard compost bin – If you don’t have the option to participate in a curbside program or just want to make your own, backyard composting is a great option! Visit www.OregonMetro.gov/Compost to learn more.
■ Worm composting – This method utilizes the power of little red worms to break down organic material and makes some of the best compost available. This is a great option for apartment residents or those with a smaller space. Visit www.OregonMetro.gov/Compost and click on “Worm Composting” to learn how.
■ Leaf mold mulch – This is a good option for those with a lot of leaves in fall. This method is so simple:
– create a bin at least 3 feet by 3 feet (hardware cloth works well),
– add mulched leaves (only leaves, no food),
– let it sit for about a year and voila!
Do an internet search for “how to create leaf mold” if you’d like more instructions, videos or images.
Are you participating in the Beaverton Climate Challenge to help us reach our goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050? If so, you can earn 480 points by completing the composting action! Not signed up yet? Visit www.SustainableBeaverton.com to get started.