It is something of a miracle to see broccoli stems, orange peels, and fallen leaves change into dark, sweet-smelling earth. Composting—collecting organic materials and combining them in a manner that will encourage their breakdown—makes use of the natural process of decomposition to create a high-quality soil conditioner.
Composting appeals to the thrifty person in all of us. It feels good to keep materials on site and cycle them back into the yard. And composting results in a very valuable product. The best soil amendment—your own homemade compost—is one that money can’t buy.
Waste reduction is another good reason for composting. Almost 20 percent of the waste stream in Alameda County is plant and vegetable trimmings that could be recycled as home compost. Recycling organic resources not only extends the life of our landfills, it can also save you money. Your garbage bills will go down. Your water bills may drop too, since a soil that’s well amended with compost holds moisture better and reduces runoff.
Your garden will benefit as well. As the health of your soil improves, so will the health of your plants.
Choosing a System
Composting with Worms
Build a Virtual Compost Pile (outside link to Florida's Online Composting Pile)
For additional information, call the Alameda County Rotline at (510) 444-SOIL
or check out these FAQs
You can become a Bay-Friendly Gardener with these resources: