How to Start Composting at Home

Organic debris, such leaves and food scraps, decomposes into soil through the process of composting.

It’s a fantastic way to reuse kitchen and yard waste while enhancing the soil in your garden, enhancing water retention, and preventing erosion.

Composting is quite simple, despite sounding difficult, and it’s a satisfying activity.

In fact, I was astonished by how simple it was to compost when I first started, even from my tiny flat. I now regularly dispose of food wastes at my neighbourhood composting facility to support sustainability and help minimise waste.

Everything you require to begin composting is included in this straightforward, step-by-step manual.

What is composting?

You can add compost, an organic material, to the soil to aid with plant growth.

It is created by gathering natural resources that you would ordinarily throw, such yard waste, leaves, and food leftovers, and allowing them to rot over time.

There are a number of benefits to considering home composting. They consist of:

  • Waste reduction. Composting allows you to recycle kitchen scraps instead of tossing them, which reduces food waste and helps minimize your environmental impact.
  • Soil enrichment. Compost helps soil retain more moisture and nutrients. It also prevents erosion by breaking up compacted soil.
  • Lower need for synthetic fertilizers. Unlike many synthetic fertilizers, compost is free of harmful chemicals and adds organic material to your soil (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

Notably, getting started with composting only takes a few uncomplicated actions.


Recycling food scraps and yard waste through composting results in an organic material rich in nutrients that you may add to soil. The technique lessens your environmental effect and food waste.

What is compostable?

Understanding what materials you can compost and what you should not compost is essential before you begin.

What can I compost?

Food leftovers, grass clippings, and many other organic materials can all be composted.

Here are some items that you can compost:

  • fruit and vegetable peels and scraps
  • rotten fruit and veggies
  • houseplant trimmings
  • coffee grounds and paper filters
  • tea leaves
  • eggshells
  • nutshells (apart from walnuts)
  • hair and fur
  • paper, cardboard, and shredded newspaper
  • napkins, paper towels, and unused toilet paper
  • grass clippings
  • leaves
  • flowers
  • sawdust
  • wood chips

Avoiding composting

Not every item from your kitchen or garden needs to go in the compost. In fact, some things might draw insects and rodents while others might include poisonous substances.

The following items are ones you should not compost:

  • Pet waste, such as feces or litter: may contain harmful bacteria or parasites
  • Bones or scraps from meat, fish, and poultry: produces odor and attracts pests
  • Dairy products: produces odor and attracts pests
  • Leaves or twigs from black walnut trees: releases a compound that’s toxic to plants
  • Walnuts: releases a compound that’s toxic to plants
  • Coal ash or charcoal: contains compounds that may harm plants
  • Large pieces of wood: may take a long time to decompose
  • Fat, cooking oil, and grease: produces odor and attracts pests
  • Pesticide-treated lawn trimmings: may kill microorganisms needed for the composting process
  • Coffee pods: most contain plastic and don’t break down naturally
  • Baked goods: may attract pests and increase the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Plants that are diseased or infested with insects: may spread disease


Many organic materials, such as food scraps, yard waste, and some paper goods, can be composted. However, some materials shouldn’t be composted since they contain dangerous substances or draw pests.

Also Read ABout How to Build a Balanced Caribbean Meal

How to start composting at home

1. Make a compost mound.

Choosing a location for your compost heap or bin is the first stage in the composting process.

Try to choose a spot outside that has good drainage, some shade, and some cover. It’s crucial to choose a location that is both accessible and free of animals, both domestic and wild.

For maximum heat retention and manageability for most gardeners, your pile should be at least 3 feet (91 cm) in height and width. As bacteria break down organic materials during the composting process, heat is created (3Trusted Source).

You can also use a compost tumbler, a container made to make it simpler to mix and rotate your composting ingredients.

2.Start including materials

You can begin adding things to your compost pile once you’ve chosen a location for it.

Alternating layers of green and brown materials is typically advised. “Green materials” are things like food and yard waste, whereas “brown materials” are things like branches, paper, straw, and wood chips that are high in carbon.

Layering isn’t necessary, but it does ensure that you’re keeping the appropriate ratio of green and brown components to speed up decomposition.

To encourage aeration and drainage, start by adding a layer of bulky brown items, such as twigs, to the bottom of the pile. Once your container is filled, pile green and brown items in successive layers. To keep each layer moist, make sure to sprinkle little water over it.

3. A standard pile turner

Turning your pile frequently would promote effective composting. To do this, turn and spin the ingredients with a shovel or pitchfork to help spread air and moisture equally.

The size of the pile, the amount of moisture, and the proportion of brown to green components are just a few of the variables that affect how frequently you should turn your compost.

You should begin by rotating your pile every 4 to 7 days as a general rule. You might need to turn your compost less frequently as it begins to grow.

While rain should provide the majority of the moisture for your compost pile, you might need to water it sometimes to help keep it moist. You can add more brown materials or stir the pile more regularly to drain excess moisture from it if it gets too soggy.

Also Read ABout How to Build a Balanced Caribbean Meal

4. Employ your compost.

Depending on a number of variables, including the size of your pile, the type of materials utilised, moisture levels, and climate, it may take anything from a few weeks to a year for your items to completely disintegrate.

The process can be sped up by turning the pile frequently, maintaining moisture, and shredding waste into smaller bits.

Your compost should resemble crumbly, dark-brown dirt when it’s ready for use. It should not contain any huge pieces of material and have a rich, earthy fragrance.

Compost can be used in potting soil mixtures, as a garden topdressing, or in place of mulch in your garden.

You may also make your own compost tea by letting some compost steep in some water for 24 to 48 hours. The liquid should then be strained before being sprayed onto plants to provide helpful nutrients and promote garden growth.


Making a compost pile, adding food scraps, and yard waste, then turning it frequently to produce rich, dark, plant-friendly matter are all steps in the composting process.

Can you compost indoors or out?

You can still try composting at home even if you don’t have a yard or access to an outdoor area.

You can actually make a small indoor compost pile under your sink or in your refrigerator using one of the many apartment-friendly composting bins that are readily available online.

Can dispose of your food wastes at a composting facility once they have accumulated. Additionally, you might speak with nearby farms or community gardens to see if they accept compost.

Instead, composting kitchen equipment may transform leftover food into a nutrient-rich fertiliser in only a few hours.

Additionally, some localities provide composting programmes that let you recycle or drop off organic waste at the curb.


Using a compost bucket or a kitchen gadget that composts, you can compost indoors. Additionally, some towns have curbside or drop-off composting services.

The conclusion

Composting is an easy, efficient solution to combat food waste and lessen your impact on the environment.

By improving the soil, minimising erosion, and lowering the need for synthetic fertilisers in your garden, it also encourages plant development.

Best of all, whether or not you have access to outdoor area, it is simple to do at home.

Also Read ABout How to Build a Balanced Caribbean Meal