Papillion Sanitation is dedicated to reduce, reuse, and recycling efforts. Our partnership with RecycleBank guides our customers towards an environmentally friendly path which rewards households for recycling. Items such as yard trimmings and food waste are often left in the trash or for collection. Instead, consider reusing and recycling yard trimmings and food waste for a compost bin that will provide bountiful results in next year’s garden.
Yard trimmings and food residuals combined make up 27% of the US municipal solid waste. That is a lot of waste that can be used in good measures. Creating a useful product from organic waste offers benefits of resource efficiency. Adding compost to your garden or container plants can help infuse the soil with nutrients and help your plants grow stronger and healthier. Compost is essentially organic matter and may be purchased or created at home.
To create compost, compile a mix of green materials (coffee grounds, fruit cores, eggshells, grass clippings, leaves) and brown materials (newspaper, sawdust, branches, twigs) in a container with enough water to dampen all of the material. Turn the compost once a week to keep it mixed, allowing helpful bacteria to break down the raw materials into a rich, fresh compost. Mix your compost into the soil before you plant, or spread it across the top of the garden to give growing plants a boost.
Composting is also beneficial to our environment in many ways.
- Enriches poor soils
- Reduces and/or eliminates the need for fertilizers
- Suppresses plant diseases and pests
- Encourages the production of bacteria and fungi that crease a nutrient filled material
- Reduces the need for water and pesticides
- Promotes a higher yield of agricultural crops
If you aren’t quite sure what food waste in your home is useful for compost, here are is a suggested list that uniforms well with composting:
- Vegetable and fruit wastes, even if they are old and moldy
- Old bread or anything that is made out of flour (crackers, pizza crust, etc)
- Cooked or uncooked grains
- Coffee grounds and tea bag filters
- Crushed egg shells
- Corn cobs and husks
- Outdated boxed pantry foods
It is very important to never compost foods such as meat (including fat, gristle, etc), fish, dairy or grease of any kind. These items will attract rodents, bugs, maggots, and breakdown the otherwise nutrient dense waste.
Omaha and the surrounding areas are located in an exceptional climate for plentiful gardening results. Composting yard waste benefits gardens and landscaping as well as reducing landfill space and methane gas production in landfills. Yard waste materials that can be used for composting include: grass clippings, straw, and non woody plant trimmings (if branches and twigs are desired to be of use in the compost, be sure to shred branches and twigs greater than ¼ inch in diameter).
If you decide to use fresh manure in your garden, a proper composting structure must be applied. Note that any commercial manure has already been composted. Manure should be added slowly to the compost pile, generally over several days or weeks, and plenty of air flow should circulate throughout the compost bin. Compost should be turned regularly as manure is added. When you plan to use the compost for the garden, the addition of manure to the compost pile should be halted two months prior. Horse, cow, sheep, rabbit, and bird manure are acceptable uses, however; never use manure from household or meat eating animals.
Papillion Sanitation strives to keep our services environmentally friendly as we also provide tips to our customers on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Remember, it’s not waste until you waste it. Reducing unnecessary trash, reusing what is acceptable, and recycling proper items will help guide our generation and future generations towards a greener path.