Composting

Composting recycles grass, leaves, kitchen scraps and other organic waste into a rich soil enhancer. Composting is easy and inexpensive--you will save time, water and money.  Turn your kitchen and yard waste into black gold!

Benefits of Compost

  • Soil conditioner improves soil aeration, texture and structure
  • Encourages optimum fertility
  • Diverts yard and kitchen waste from the landfill
  • Protects against drought
  • Controls soil PH balance
  • Supports essential bacteria
  • Feeds helpful earthworms
  • Stops nutrient loss through leaching
  • Controls erosion
  • Provides and releases plant nutrients
  • Eliminates transportation and gasoline costs, both financial and environmental
  • Closes the recycle loop by processing a new product on site

Composting Guide

Brown (Carbon materials) - 50% Green (Nitrogen materials) - 50% Avoid
  • Dried, brown leaves and grass
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded newsprint
  • Dryer lint
  • Chopped straw
  • Nut shells
  • Chopped woody stalks - sunflower or corn
  • Kitchen scraps, fruit and vegetable matter
  • Fresh grass clippings (not in clumps)
  • Fresh weeds (before they go to seed)
  • Used coffee grounds, filters and tea bags
  • Eggshells
  • Pet and human hair (not in clumps)
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Grease or fat
  • Pet wastes
  • Oils or oily foods
  • Diseasedplants

 

Steps for Creating Great Compost

  1. Add 50/50 brown and green materials in layers - the more cut up, the faster it will decompose.
  2. Add some soil between the brown and green layers to jump-start the process
  3. Add water until the pile is moist, but not soaking
  4. Occasionally turn the pile.  This will allow air into the mixture, which microorganisms need to survive.  The more often you turn it, the faster the process will go.  Turn up to three times a month.

Learn More

Download our guide on how to create your own worm bin!

City of Albuquerque: Composting Guide

New Mexico State University: Backyard Composting Publication

Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency:  Background Composting

Resources

  • City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department
  • Bernalillo County Extension Office
  • NMSU Extension Service
  • Albuquerque Master Composters