matter such as yard and food wastes comprises 23% of the waste generated
in the United States. Composting is an effective, inexpensive, and
natural way to handle this organic waste and is an important part
of Hanover's waste management strategy.
What is Composting?
Composting is the process by which organic matter is biodegraded
to a soil-like condition called compost or humus. Composting works
best with a 2:1 Green/Brown ratio:
- "Greens" are the source of nitrogen and include items such as
grass clippings, almost all food waste, old plants, wilted flowers,
coffee grounds, tea leaves, and manure;
- "Browns" are the source of carbon and include items such as
leaves, hay, straw, wood chips, sawdust, chipped brush, and shredded
DO NOT use meat, fish, bones, dairy foods, fats, and oil or grease
when composting because they smell, attract pests, and retard the
biological process that converts the organic material to compost.
When organics are composted, they become natural soil additives
for use on lawns, gardens, and potting soil. As a soil amendment
or mulch, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, improves
soil texture, moderates temperatures, and increases the ability
of the soil to absorb air and water. It also suppresses weed growth,
decreases erosion, and reduces the need to apply commercial soil
additives, thereby saving you money.
Composting information courtesy of the Maryland
Department of the Environment