Home Composting Made Easy


Composting is taking organic material and allowing it to decompose. Once this occurs, the compost can be added to soil as a fertilizer or mulch. The benefits to composting are many and include reducing the amount of waste in a landfill, less work for your sewage system, and all natural nutrients that increase plant growth. Composting can easily be done at home with little to no previous experience.

Step 1

Place a layer of brown (high-carbon) ingredients in the bottom of your compost bin. Brown ingredients include straw, wood chips, shredded paper products, twigs and pine needles. The layer should be 2 to 3 inches high.

Step 2

Put a layer of green (high-nitrogen) ingredients on top of the brown ingredients. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection suggests alternating these layers until your compost bin is full. Green ingredients include kitchen scraps, blood meal, cow manure, horse manure, grass clippings, and seaweed.

Step 3

Water the ingredients in your compost bin until they are completely moist. Do not overwater the barrel. You don't want the compost to be soaking wet, just moist.

Step 4

Turn the ingredients in the compost bin once a week with a shovel. This keeps the flow of oxygen going throughout the pile, which will help it decompose faster. Repeat until your compost looks like brown soil that has an earthy scent. Then, it is ready to use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Refer to the EPA's composting list to determine which items are recommended for composting and which items aren't. For example, you can compost rabbit manure, but not cat manure.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Organic materials
  • Water
  • Shovel


  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: Home Composting Tips
  • National Resource Conservation Service: Composting
  • Veg Web: Introduction to Composting

Who Can Help

  • Environmental Protection Agency: Basic Information on Composting
Keywords: easy composting, compost pile, recyling kitchen scraps

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.