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Troubleshooting Your Backyard Bin

Symptoms Causes Solutions
Pile not composting Too dry Add water until slightly damp. Turn pile.
  Too much brown material Add fresh green material or herbivore manures and fruit and vegetable trimmings. Turn pile.
Pile smells rotten and/or attracts flies Too wet and/or too many food scraps or lawn clippings Turn and add browns or dry soil.
  Food scraps exposed Bury and mix food scraps into pile.
  Non-compostables in pile Remove meat, dairy products, grease, etc. and turn.
Rodents in pile Food scraps in open bin or bin with holes larger than 1/4 inch, and/or non-compostables in pile Make sure the bin is rodent-proof, set traps, remove meat and other non-compostables, and turn pile.