Waste Removal in Connecticut, 5 Steps to Prepare Your Compost Pile for Winter
However, there are steps that you can take to help move along the process of decomposition in cold temperatures, thus ensuring that you can still utilize your compost pile during the winter and help the environment.
1. Reduce Expectations
Most microorganisms have a hard time breaking down organic material during winter because colder temperatures inhibit their normal functions. As a result, you need to keep the compost pile warm if you want it to keep decomposing.
2. Use Shelter
The simplest method to keep the compost pile warm is to build a shelter. Snow fencing is an excellent material for enclosing the compost pile, while bricks, cinder blocks, and sand bags can be used to build more permanent measures. Similarly, you can also drape a tarp over the compost pile to keep the cold air from getting in through the top. Alternatively, you can simply make a bigger compost pile to keep the interior warm. If you are using worms to help decomposition, you’ll need to either bring the decomposition bin indoors or bury it in the earth using dried plant material as insulation.
3. Maintain the Balance
Compost piles need both air and moisture to keep decomposing, but winter conditions can result in excess moisture due to precipitation lingering around. Keep the tarp secured by using stakes, to help keep out excess moisture, though not as good as a permanent structure. Bear in mind that the compost pile still needs to be turned at least once a month during the winter.
4. Use the Right Mixture of Materials
Compost piles include both green materials and brown materials. Food, manure, and fresh plant materials are considered green materials while eggshells, paper products, and dried plant materials are considered brown materials. You need to add more brown materials during winter to energize sluggish microorganisms. At the same time, you need to shred green materials for better insulation and faster decomposition.
5. Consider Alternatives
You can use indoor systems such as Bokashi instead of a compost pile during winter. Alternatively, you can continue creating compost by digging holes, filling them with small amounts of aforementioned materials, and then filling them in with soil afterwards. Bear in mind that you can call your local waste management company in Connecticut to learn about more options when it comes to composting during the winter.
- Remember that decomposition takes longer during winter.
- Build shelter to keep the compost pile decomposing.
- Protect the compost pile from precipitation.
- Add more brown waste while making sure to shred green waste.
- Consider alternatives to the compost pile.
Are you interested in learning more about composting or removing residential waste, contact us today!