Composting is a traditional, natural, biological process for disposal of organic garden and kitchen waste materials. It is easy to do and requires very little specialized knowledge or equipment. With a little extra effort to collect waste material, a successful composting process can be established in a short time. In this way, the quantity of organic waste destined for limited landfill space can be reduced.
Composting effectively recycles the waste organic matter into a useful material that can be used as a soil conditioner, as a mulch and also as a fertilizer as it contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and trace elements. It is, in summary, an organically stabilized product beneficial to soil and growing crops.
Composting is a process where the organic material is transformed and stabilized by the activities of a succession of microbial populations. BCL Compost is a biological product containing carefully selected natural micro-organisms that readily adapt to the compost ecosystem. It contains a blend of bacteria that operate efficiently at the wide range of temperatures encountered in the compost environment.
Those micro-organisms that like the 20-45°C temperature range (referred to as mesophiles) initiate the degradative process breaking down the simpler organic waste material. As the temperature exceeds 45°C, another group of organisms (referred to as thermophiles) become active. These micro-organisms continue the degradative process and are largely responsible for the degradation of the more complex material such as twigs, leaf stems and straw, this occurs mainly at 50/60°C. It is in this range that the maximum degradation and stabilization of organic material occurs. Once the food supply runs out, the temperature will drop. The result is a stable compost, ready for use.
It resembles peat, being a rich dark brown colour, crumbly in texture and having a pleasant earthy smell. It should have no toxic components (heavy metals, pesticides) or non-biodegradable materials such as glass and plastics. There will be an absence of pathogens and also seeds from weeds. It is thus a natural, harmless, useful material generated from the decomposition of material that might otherwise be sent to landfill. Positioning of the compost bin
The compost bin should be placed on well drained soil, in a sunny spot away from the wind. There will be water released from the compost so it is important that the soil drains well. In fact, it is a good idea to loosen the soil first before the compost bin is placed in position. Positioning of the bin over the soil allows migration of soil micro-organisms as well as worms, which help to aerate and process the compost. The run-off water from a compost bin is a rich source of nutrients. If it is wished to avail of this, divert run off to a container so that it can be retained and used for plants.
The bin should be placed where it can be accessed during the winter months when rain, mud, etc., can make access more difficult. In cooler climates, in order to encourage and maintain heat, it may be necessary to cover the compost bin with an old rug, mat, piece of carpet or hessian sack. Also during colder weather the degradation process will be slowed down so it is important not to overload the bin. However, use of a biological product such as BCL Compost can overcome this.
Always keep the lid on the bin as it keeps in heat and moisture as well as keeping out the rain.
Different materials will decompose at different rates but they will break down eventually. To speed things up, shred material so that it is in smaller pieces and / or use a biological product, BCL Compost, which will greatly accelerate the composting process especially during the winter months. Using the helpful hints in the table at the end of this document will also help to produce good compost in a timely fashion.
To start the compost bin, place bulky material such as twigs or straw at the base as this will help air circulation. Layers of fruit, vegetable and garden waste can then be mixed and added. At intervals of 15 cm, spray the compost with BCL Compost. This contains micro-organisms that accelerate the process and eliminate odours.
As a result of composting, the contents of the compost bin will decrease to about 1/3rd its original volume.
It is a loose material that is mixed in lukewarm water and then applied once to the mix when establishing the compost.
The micro-organisms in BCL Compost have been isolated from natural environments. They have not been genetically modified. These micro-organisms have been classified as harmless to humans, animals and plants. The product is subjected to independent testing to ensure that it is free of Salmonella and other contaminants.
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