Your Backyard Composting Guide


Yard trimmings and food scraps make up more than a quarter of the material disposed of in municipal waste systems throughout the United States. Using a backyard composting system to return that chunk of organic junk back to the earth is great for the environment and can benefit you as a homeowner!

It’s easy to get started: find a bin that’s about three feet tall, wide, and deep. Fill with two parts dry leaves and twigs and one part green yard trimmings and food scraps (grass clippings, egg shells, fruit and vegetable waste, etc.). Water your compost to keep it moist, but not sopping wet. Turn or aerate the compost regularly to add oxygen to the mix. When your compost looks like soil, it’s ready to feed your garden!

Applying composted soil to your garden can balance its pH and provide nutrients to plants, which means you may be able get away with buying and using less fertilizer. It also improves overall soil structure, helping with water retention, which could mean less watering.

To learn more about composting, visit the U.S. Composting Council at