Yard trimmings and food scraps make up nearly 16% to 30% of waste produced by the average household. While food scraps often end up in the trash (and then our landfill), they are an important resource that can support healthy yards and gardens. By composting leaves ("browns") with kitchen scraps ("greens"), you create a dark, crumbly mixture that can be used to improve the soil and reduce your use of fertilizer and water. Use the resources below to start your own backyard compost. 

Building a Hot compost pile.png

Getting Started

A hot compost pile is the first step in your backyard composting journey. 

Building a Hot compost pile (3).png

Tea Time

Compost tea is the perfect, all natural “miracle-growing” liquid.

Building a Hot compost pile (1).png

Wonderful Worms

Worms are an amazing addition to your compost bin, and easy to integrate.  

Building a Hot compost pile (4).png

Finishing Touches

Put the finishing touches on your compost bin and get to work composting.

Building a Hot compost pile (2).png

Got Chickens?

One of the most helpful allies in making compost are chickens, helping aerate you

The Basics of Backyard Composting

Composting can be boiled down into 4 simple steps:​

  1. Make a compost bin or buy one,

  2. Throw in yard waste and mix in kitchen scraps

  3. Add water as needed

  4. Mix it up with a shovel or pitchfork once in a while.


What's compostable? (and what isn't?)


The key materials are nitrogen-rich "greens," carbon-rich "browns," water, and air. All of these are essential, but they're easy to mix together for quality compost. Kitchen food scraps such as banana peels and coffee grounds are great examples of scraps that can be composted.

Just say no. 

While many materials can be composted, there are some items that you should keep out of your home compost pile to minimize odors and keep your pile from attracting scavengers. Since compost is generally used for a soil amendment, you also want to keep it free of plant diseases and unhealthy bacteria. Avoid:

  • Food with meat, dairy, or oils

  • Pet feces (dog, cat, or bird)

  • Diseased plants

  • Weeds gone to seed

  • Ash from charcoal or coal