Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of garbage and waste you create, improve and add to the soil that you garden with and it benefits the environment too. Starting a community compost site is an even bigger win because when there is a public option, more folks have a way of joining in and starting to compost for themselves.
Almost half of residential waste is made up of material that can be composted, so there is definitely a steady supply of materials to contribute to a compost pile set up in any community. If you are interested in starting a community compost site that multiple residents can contribute to and then use, use these tips to get the job done.
And if you already have a community garden in your community, adding a community compost site will make things a lot easier when it comes to needed new, enriched compost for the beds.
Starting a Community Compost Site
Reach Out to the Community
Reach out to the community as often as possible to keep them informed and involved in the creation of a community compost site. Make sure that you address their concerns, offer suggestions to those concerns and then gain their support. Doing this is also a great way to reach volunteers and potential users of the compost as it is produced.
Gain City Support
Once you have volunteers and a decent amount of the community interested in composting, approach the city to gain support. Arm yourself with information from the waste department regarding the amount of waste that is collected on a weekly or monthly basis.
You can then figure out how much of that could be turned into compost and how much compost a community site could keep out of landfills. The city might be able to recommend or suggest sites that the compost pile can be placed, to better serve the entire community and keep it accessible to the most amount of residents.
Lock in a Location
Finding and gaining a location that can be used for an extended amount of time is important because without this, there is no community compost site. Make sure that any site you are considering is easy to access, can be maintained with as little monetary funds as possible and is in a safe, open area.
Another thing to consider is how near the site is to neighborhoods and if any private residents will be inconvenienced by the presence of the pile or an influx of residents at all different times of the day.
Mark Compost Piles Clearly
Because there may be folks joining the group that are new to composting, make sure all piles or bins are clearly marked. People visiting the location need to know where to go and what to put where. The same goes for anyone that is coming in for organic material to take back home to their personal gardens.
Find New Ways to Use the Compost
As soon as the compost pile gets going it is going to add up fast. Make sure as many members of the community as possible are using the compost. Reach out to community and school gardens to help them fill their needs. Always be reaching out and finding new ways to get the community interested in the compost pile and its use.