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HOW TO: Start Composting

Make your garden happy with scraps from your kitchen

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Looking to start going greener and have no idea where to start? Look no further than your dinner plate. If you’re eating a lot of vegetables, then you are a person who probably could be composting — which will help your houseplants, make your garden explode with happiness and reduce your trash bill.

Marilyn Carothers, a master composter who often teaches free workshops on composting at Sun People Dry Goods, says pretty much anyone can compost with the right materials.

If you’ve got a yard and a fledgling garden, you can make room for a compost bin. Carothers says you can start composting with simple, available materials: grass, leaves, biodegradable food waste. She says first-time composters should ensure their compost bin never sees pet waste, oils, fats, meat, dairy or chemical-coated products, like paper plates.

Apartment dwellers can also get in on the action by vermicomposting — aka composting with worms. Carothers recommends reading up on vermicomposting first in order to “keep the worms happy.” But essentially, worms break down kitchen waste and then poop it out — and that worm poo is “very nutritious for plants.”

Aspiring composters are in luck: Spokane Regional Solid Waste System is hosting its Spring Compost Fair on Saturday, April 27, from 11 am to 2 pm, where county residents (bring proof of your residency) can learn how to compost and take home a free compost bin. Check out solidwaste.org for all the details. 

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