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CofC Composts

Our in-house composting system upcycles nutrients from “waste” and transforms it into organic matter to use for soil restoration.  We collect from various community partners and local businesses, and employ the thermophilic and mesophilic styles of composting.  We accumulate a diverse set of materials to compost with, so to help increase the biological activity that helps increase the decomposition process.  We aim to inspire people to explore a closed-loop system and grow their own food.  See our FAQ for details on composting, or our composting materials reference chart for the types of materials we compost!

FAQs 

What is compost?
Compost, also known as “black gold” is organic matter including weeds, raw food scraps, fallen leaves, and coffee grounds that undergoes a process of decomposition and recombination of plant & animal life with the help of microorganisms.  It is recycled back into garden beds to improve the soil’s structure and fertility.

Why is composting important?
First, it is used as an organic fertilizer, providing nutrients for plant growth and organic acids rendering nutrients in the soil more accessible to plants.  It reduces the need for fertilizer and pesticides and promotes higher crop yield.  Healthy soil produces healthy plants!  In addition, returning plant-based materials to the soil rather than throwing them away reduces methane (greenhouse gas emissions) from the landfill.  It also connects us with natural cycles and makes us more aware of our waste.

What are the ingredients?
Compost is primarily a mixture of green materials (immature vegetation) high in nitrogen, and brown materials (mature vegetation) that are high in carbon.  In addition to air, soil and water! Varied textures allows good drainage and aeration in the pile, more diverse nutrient content and greater microbial diversity!

Greens

Browns

Fruit & Veggie scraps

Dead leaves, straw, dried grasses

Coffee grounds

Coffee filters

Hair

Sawdust

Eggshells!!!

Newspaper

Flowers

Corn cobs

Tea leaves

Paper towels/napkins

Fresh grass clippings

Old potting soil & dead potted plants

 How can I participate?
Drop off your compostable materials on Fridays from 9am-3pm in the bin in front of the department building at 45 Coming Street.  Contact us at cofccomposts@gmail.com if you’re interested in helping till or collecting materials by bike.

  compost 

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is another method of turning food scraps into an extremely nutrient-rich soil amendment using worms and microorganisms who consume the organic material.  Their voracious appetites produce castings (poop) that are highly nutrient-dense.  Castings can be used in the garden by applying leachate or compost tea.
Here's an image of how our system works:

Worm Composting Bin

Want to know the science behind composting, vermicomposting, and soil ecology?  Click here to watch an informative video series by Dr. Elaine Ingham about healthy soil ecology!