The Town of Aurora encourages residents to use a backyard composter to not only produce an excellent soil conditioner that will improve your soil and the plants growing within it, but to reduce kitchen and yard waste disposal. Compost is a dark, earthy material, which results from the natural decomposition of organic matter.
How to backyard compost
- Place your composter in a level spot on the earth where there is good water drainage and significant sun exposure.
- Line the bottom of the composter with heavy-duty wire (optional) and place the composter an inch or two inches into the ground.
- Add organic materials, including both nitrogen-rich green materials, and carbon-rich brown materials. For example, when you add kitchen scraps or grass, also add some dry leaves. When you rake your leaves in the fall, save several bags to add gradually to your pile during the rest of the year. Chop or shred materials into small pieces to speed up the composting process.
- Keep the pile moist but not dripping wet. Use a cover to keep the pile from becoming too wet from rainfall. If it gets too dry, water it with a watering can or hose.
- Provide air to the pile by turning it with a pitchfork or shovel, by using an aerating tool, or by placing an air stack in the center of the pile.
- When compost is ready to use, it should be dark and crumbly, with most of the original identity of the materials lost. You can screen the finished compost to remove coarse or incompletely decomposed materials such as shells, corncobs or twigs. Return these to the compost pile.
Where to use compost
- Dig the compost into the earth before planting flowers and vegetables.
- Use the compost as mulch to top-dress around plants and trees to help retain moisture, smother weeds and prevent soil compaction.
- Screen and use compost on your lawn or as part of a seed starting mix.
Where to purchase a backyard composter
Backyard composters may be purchased from local hardware stores* or for $30 (prices are subject to change) from the Town’s Operations Yard located at 9 Scanlon Court from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please note: Backyard composters are available to Town of Aurora residents only.
*prices may vary
Links to more information:
Backyard composting FAQs