I’ve been composting for about 6 weeks with my new composting bin (see my earlier post about my sweet B-day present) and things are looking pretty good. My bin has 2 compartments and 1 side is full so I’ve stopped adding to it and am just waiting for everything to break down, and I’m now adding all our food scraps to the other side. At one point the full side was too wet, so I added a lot of shredded Statesman pages and pieces of cardboard to it, and that seemed to help (the Statesman uses natural inks, so you can compost the newspaper without worrying about adding chemicals to your compost if you plan to use the compost for gardening).
This website says that
Temperature plays an important role in the composting process. Decomposition occurs most rapidly between 110° to 160°F. Within two weeks, a properly made compost pile will reach these temperatures
so I’ve been hoping my compost pile will get warmer. Thanks to a handy laser thermometer my husband has which allows you to measure temperatures without any contact with the material, we know that the highest temperature the pile reached was 130° last weekend, but yesterday it was back down to the mid-90s.
The downside to composting? There are a lot of maggots in the compost pile. I naively did not realize there would be any bugs in the compost pile, or thought that if there were bugs, there would be just a few. But I’m not grossed out by it, I just quickly empty my compost bucket each day and give the compost bin a quick spin, and haven’t had any bug contact yet. When that day comes, I will be grossed out.
For info on why composting is good for the environment, check out this EPA link (“Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 26 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. That’s a lot of waste to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead! Composting offers the obvious benefits of resource efficiency and creating a useful product from organic waste that would otherwise have been landfilled.”)