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Ed Bruske explains the benefits of composting, and what not to compost
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HI, I’m Ed Bruske with DC Urban Gardeners. We’re here in my garden in the District of Columbia talking about composting, and I’ve shown you a number of things that you can compost. I’ve talked to you about how you can collect your grass clippings, your leaves in the fall, your kitchen scraps your weeds and turns that into rich compost. Gardener’s Gold that you can use in your garden. But there are few things that you shouldn’t compost and I want to talk to you about those for just a second because they can cause problems. Those would be, well first of all, things that are not organic; things that were not alive at one point. Like all the plastic wrapping that comes on all the products from the grocery store. That’s not going to break down; bacteria, fungi, doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived within your compost pile, nothing like that is going to break sown. Ah, so you want to keep any kind of plastic products out of your compost pile. They may end up there anyway, you just pick them up but they won’t compost. Another thing you might want to try and avoid are really woody products, ah really woody materials; say from pruning a tree or even things like Magnolia leaves. Things that are really heavy, dense, twigs branches; create a second pile for them because although they will break down eventually, they’ll take a long time, much longer than your normal compost, you want to keep those separate from your compost. Another class of things not to compost is things that are really fatty and oily or meaty. For instance, meat scraps. You may have had steak last night and cut all kinds of pieces off the bone that you didn’t want to eat, you couldn’t feed it to the dog, you’re thinking about putting it in your compost pile, don’t! Meat, dairy products, cheeses, yogurt, things that have a lot of oil on them; salad oil, even salad greens that have got a lot of salad dressing on, I would keep them out of your compost pile. Because what those things tend to do is attract pest and create odors. They can be composted and they are composted in big commercial or municipal composting situation. But for the homeowner, I would keep those kind of products out of your compost bin. Okay, next we’re going to talk about how you actually construct your compost pile.