I've been eager to try composting for a year now but keep running into roadblocks when it comes to Howie. He's against it, I'm not exactly sure why. First he said it was too expensive to get a bin. Then he said it would attract animals and finally he fessed up that it was just too big of a pain in the ass.
I finally convinced him (with incessant badgering and maybe a little bit of sugar love) to give it a shot. You know, women...the best time to bargain ANYTHING with your husband is the moment just before you crawl down towards his nether region. I used to think it was heinous to play such mind games but recently I figure, what's the harm? Everyone's happy, right! I shudder to think of what I will have to do to get him to agree to put up a clothes line!
So anyway, I got the green light for the composting. We decided that it was a waste to spend money on a bin mostly because of the sheer amount of stuff we need to compost. We have a huge area of woods to the side of our house and we dug two trenches instead.
I started collecting kitchen scraps and between that and the grass clippings from the backyard and left over leaves from the fall, it didn't take much to get the thing set-up. I was a little concerned about attracting animals but it turns out, if you make sure to cover everything with an adequate amount of "brown" material, it tones down the smell and keeps the rodent problem at bay.
I've also done a little research as to what can be composted and recycled. Did you know that you can put paper and dryer lint and egg shells and tea/coffee grounds, paper towels and the contents of your vacuum bags in a compost pile? Who knew!
Today I decided to call my recycling center to ask very specifically about what I can recycle. Turns out there were a lot of things that I can recycle that I haven't been. Things like juice boxes and small yogurt containers and cereal boxes. They won't take pizza boxes which often contain sauce and oils which can contaminate an entire recycling load. If contaminated they end up taking the entire thing to the landfill, so it's just plain not worth it!
I decided to go through my trash, item by item and divide it into either trash, recycling or compost. Turns out that my heaping full trash bag was only 1/4 full when I was done dividing it. I've been wasting WAY too much which is surprising because on recycling day we always have a full to the brim can. I chucked the recycling stuff in our bin, dumped the kitchen waste (including what I swept off the floor) into the compost bin, put all paper bags in a bin to take back to the store (the store will take them back and recycle them) and I was left with a very empty trash can. The only thing un-accounted for were the phone books so I will have to drop them at our local transfer station.
If I make sure to turn it frequently, I should have a pretty nice heap of rich compost by the fall which will be perfect for when I divide all of my perennials and plant my bulbs. It will also be perfect for mulching. If we have a little extra, we can add it to our lawn and hopefully begin an organic regime. I get giddy at the prospect of having a giant pile of nutrient rich compost for when I do an actual garden next summer.
I think it's just a matter of thinking ahead. It's going to take a while to get used to where things go. I think the kids will pick up on it pretty quickly, especially Birdie. Now Howie, that's another story. It's going to drive him batshit. Which is reason enough to do it :-)