Composting requires quite a bit more setup than simply throwing organic material into a bin. By striking the proper balance between the various elements--bulking agents, energy materials, and raw materials--you can help speed the decaying process while keeping unpleasant odor causing agents to a minimum. By following a few easy steps while loading your compost bin, you can be sure that you are getting the most return out of your compost materials.
Choose and load your bulking agents in first. In general, materials such as sawdust, hay, straw, wood chips, and corn stalks work well in this capacity. These materials serve to pull moisture out of the organic materials that will be added as well as helping to aerate the compost pile. As a general rule, you will want to use roughly twice the amount of bulking agents as you use energy materials.
Select and load your energy materials next. Grass clippings, coffee grounds, garden refuse, and vegetable matter kitchen waste products all serve as good examples of desirable energy materials for your compost pile. Even though these materials are high in moisture, the bulking material you have laid down will help to dry them out and keep down the growth or microbes and the production of odor.
Add any raw materials to the compost heap. These can include various yard clipping and tree refuse. Make sure to cut anything that is to be added to the refuse pile into small pieces, no larger that half an inch in diameter. This will help accelerate the composting process.
Place new materials in the center of the pile when adding to the compost bin. Use a pitchfork to clear a section in the center of the pile, so that the newly added material is in the middle of the bin. Once the material is added, use the pitchfork to pull the surrounding compost over the freshly added material. This will ensure a quick and steady composting process.
Turn your compost once per week. The microbes that power the composting process need oxygen in order to perform their tasks properly. Using a pitchfork to turn the compost pile once a week ensure that all of the areas are getting the proper amount of oxygen in order to do their jobs.