Composting

In June 2014 the Maple Street Community Garden launched its composting system.

Donations are accepted 7 days a week, from 8am to 6pm.

If you don’t see anyone when you arrive at the garden, walk to the back and look for the bright yellow and grey trash bins.

Place non-prohibited materials (see below) in the yellow or grey bins.

Be sure to secure the lid on the trash bins with a heavy rock, to deter animals.

See below for details about what you can compost with us:

Compost Rules

What Not To Add

Good hygiene is as important for keeping compost pile healthy as it is for your garden overall. Here’s what to leave out.

NO weeds from the garden. The Japanese Knotweed and Mugwort that are the most prevalent weeds in the garden and will start growing in the compost if we add it to the pile. They will also contain the lead that is in the soil.

NO diseased plant materials. Viruses and other pathogens aren’t always destroyed in the composting process.

NO pesticide-treated plants, including grass clippings. Avoid especially if the finished product is to be used in a vegetable
garden.

NO pressure-treated wood scraps and sawdust. Copper, cyanide and arsenic may be present.

NO poison sumac, poison ivy, and other irritating plants. Toxic plant oils don’t easily break down. Nettles and thorny
twigs will decompose eventually, but beware of handling unfinished compost.

NO food scraps containing oils, meats, or dairy products. Fats in spreads and baked goods made with shortening will
inhibit decomposition, and ingredients like sugar can attract pests. Meat and dairy scraps will also draw pests, create
odors, and take a long time to break down.

NO fecal waste of dogs, cats or other carnivorous pets. These manures may contain long-lived pathogens that persist
in the garden.

NO long-lasting organic materials. Unless chipped into small pieces first, waxy leaves of magnolias and hollies, pine
cones, sweet gum pods and other materials that break down slowly are best left out of the pile.

What To Add

Browns (carbon rich and dry)

*Fallen leaves.
*Wood Chips.
*Sawdust. Make sure it not from pressure treated wood.
*Spent plants and potting soil. Avoid adding material from diseased or invasive plants.
*Straw or hay. Avoid hay seeds; they may survive the composting process.
*Pine cones and pine needles. Best if chopped-up !rst.
*Twigs. Chop any that are thicker than your thumb into smaller pieces.
*Newspaper. Not recommended in large amounts, a few sheets torn into strips can be added if you need a boost of
carbon.
*Eggshells. These are an excellent source of calcium.
*Breads, grains, and beans. Bury under at least one foot of material to avoid attracting animals pests.
*Corncobs. Chop into small pieces for faster breakdown.
*Wood ashes. Add sparingly; never add ash from charcoal briquettes.
*Paper towels and plates.
*Corrugated or unwaxed cardboard. Composting is a good option for any cardboard that is too wet or soiled for
recycling.

 

Greens (nitrogen rich and wet)

*Kitchen scraps. Including fruit and vegetable peels and cores. Chop tough peels or large scraps.
*Coffee grounds and tea bags. Filters and paper tags are okay too.
*Fresh leaves and plants.
*Weeds. Add before they set seed; omit pernicious plants like bindweed and quackgrass.
*Spent cut “owers.
*Freshly pruned trimmings. Chop woody ones into pieces.
*Grass clippings. Mix thoroughly with other ingredients to avoid creating anaerobic conditions.
*Seaweed. Add only small amounts to avoid high levels of salts.
*Aquarium water. Use freshwater only; contains algae.
*Manure and bedding. From farm animals and small pets like hamsters and rabbits (that are herbivores). Avoid cat or
dog litter (that are carnivores).
*Brewery waste. Spent grain from home-brewing kits is also good.
*Feathers, fur, hair.

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