The ABC of composting


A quick primer on how to manage all that rich organic waste your home generates

Every week, newspapers carry articles about the smog at Pallikaranai and Perungudi, created by the trash burning in the landfills. Sadly, more than 80 per cent of the waste is organic, which can be diverted from the landfill simply by composting.

Organic waste includes waste from the kitchen, leftover food, leaves and flowers. Composting is the process of breaking down organic matter into nutrient-rich humus. It is different from rotting because while rotting is decay, accompanied by putrid smell and fungus, composting is slow decomposition — the process that takes place in forests, where layers of leaves slowly break down to become part of the loamy soil, giving you that “forest smell”.

Science behind composting

During composting, organic matter breaks down into nitrogen and carbon, and when these two are balanced, you get compost. Too much nitrogen will make the matter rot; too much carbon makes the mix dry and inert....................Read more

 

Source: The Hindu


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