The Benefits of Composting at Home and How to Get Started


As the need for sustainable waste management solutions continues to grow, composting at home is gaining popularity as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to reduce household waste. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the benefits of composting, provide a step-by-step guide on setting up your own home composting system, and discuss how NCM Recycling and Waste Solutions supports eco-friendly waste management practices, including the responsible disposal of organic waste.

Why Compost at Home?

Composting is a natural process that transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. By composting at home, you can help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, lower your carbon footprint, and create a valuable resource for your garden. Here are some key benefits of composting at home:

Waste Reduction

Approximately 30% of household waste is organic, and composting this material at home can significantly reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills. By diverting organic waste from landfills, you can help conserve space and reduce the production of harmful greenhouse gases, such as methane.

Soil Enrichment

Compost is an excellent soil amendment, improving soil structure, drainage, and fertility. It provides essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, that plants need to grow and thrive. Adding compost to your garden can help improve plant health, increase crop yields, and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Water Conservation

Compost can help improve soil's water retention capabilities, which means less frequent watering is necessary for your plants. By reducing the need for watering, you can conserve water resources and save money on your water bill.

Cost Savings

Composting at home can save you money on waste disposal fees and garden supplies. By creating your own compost, you can reduce the need for commercial soil amendments, fertilizers, and even pesticides, as healthy soil naturally deters pests and diseases.

Setting Up Your Home Composting System

Starting your own composting system at home is easier than you might think. Follow these simple steps to get started:

Choose a Composting Method

There are several composting methods to choose from, depending on your space, budget, and personal preferences. Some popular methods include:

  1. Outdoor compost bins or piles: This traditional method involves layering organic waste in a bin or pile in your garden or backyard. These systems require some space and regular turning to aerate the compost.
  2. Worm bins (vermicomposting): Worm bins use red wiggler worms to break down organic waste. This method is suitable for small spaces, such as apartments or balconies, and requires less maintenance than outdoor composting systems.
  3. Bokashi: Bokashi is a Japanese composting method that uses anaerobic fermentation to break down organic waste. This method is ideal for those with limited outdoor space and can handle a wider range of organic materials, including meat and dairy products.

Select a Location

Choose a convenient and suitable location for your composting system. Outdoor compost bins or piles should be placed on level ground in a well-draining area, ideally near your garden for easy access. Worm bins and Bokashi systems can be set up indoors or outdoors, depending on your space and climate.

Add Organic Materials

Start adding organic waste to your composting system. Aim for a balance of 'green' materials (rich in nitrogen), such as fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and coffee grounds, and 'brown' materials (rich in carbon), such as leaves, straw, and cardboard. Avoid adding meat, dairy products, and oily foods to traditional compost bins, as these can attract pests and create unpleasant odours. Worm bins and Bokashi systems can handle a wider range of materials but always follow the manufacturer's guidelines.

Maintain Your Compost

Proper maintenance is essential for successful composting. Here are some tips to ensure your compost stays healthy and breaks down efficiently:

  1. Turn the compost regularly: Turning your compost helps aerate the pile and speeds up decomposition. Use a garden fork or compost aerator to mix the materials every 1-2 weeks.
  2. Monitor moisture levels: Compost should be damp, like a wrung-out sponge. If it's too dry, add water or more green materials; if it's too wet, add more brown materials or turn the pile to improve aeration.
  3. Keep an eye on the temperature: A well-maintained compost pile will generate heat as organic materials break down. Regular turning and maintaining a good balance of green and brown materials will help maintain optimal temperatures for decomposition.

Harvest Your Compost

When your compost is dark, crumbly, and has an earthy smell, it's ready to use. Depending on the composting method and conditions, this can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. Use your finished compost as a soil amendment, mulch, or a natural fertilizer in your garden.

How NCM Recycling and Waste Solutions Supports Eco-Friendly Waste Management

At NCM Recycling and Waste Solutions, we understand the importance of sustainable waste management practices, including the responsible disposal of organic waste. We are committed to promoting eco-friendly waste management solutions through our services and educational initiatives.

  1. Responsible waste disposal: We work with clients to develop customized waste management plans that prioritize recycling and composting, ensuring that organic waste is processed responsibly and does not end up in landfills.
  2. Education and outreach: We provide educational resources, workshops, and support to help our clients and the wider community adopt more sustainable waste management practices, such as composting at home.
  3. Partnerships and collaborations: We actively collaborate with industry partners, local authorities, and community organizations to promote and support sustainable waste management initiatives and practices.

Additional Tips for Successful Composting

To further enhance your composting experience and make the most of your home composting system, consider these additional tips:

Chop or Shred Materials

Breaking down larger materials into smaller pieces can help speed up the composting process by increasing the surface area available for decomposition. Chop fruit and vegetable scraps into smaller chunks and shred leaves, cardboard, or paper before adding them to your compost.

Layer Materials

Create alternating layers of green and brown materials in your compost bin or pile to maintain a balanced ratio of carbon and nitrogen. This will help ensure proper decomposition and prevent unpleasant odours. It is also a good idea to cover any fresh green materials with a layer of brown materials to minimize the risk of attracting pests.

Add Compost Activators

Compost activators are products that can help jump-start the decomposition process by introducing beneficial microorganisms into your compost. While not strictly necessary, they can be helpful in speeding up the composting process, particularly when starting a new pile. You can purchase commercial compost activators or use homemade alternatives, such as well-rotted manure, garden soil, or finished compost.

Monitor pH Levels

A balanced pH is essential for successful composting, as it allows beneficial microorganisms to thrive and break down organic materials efficiently. The ideal pH for compost is between 6 and 8. If you notice that your compost is not breaking down as expected, consider testing the pH with a soil testing kit and adjusting as necessary. Adding lime or wood ash can help raise the pH, while adding acidic materials like coffee grounds or pine needles can help lower it.

Troubleshoot Common Issues

Like any natural process, composting can sometimes encounter issues that need to be addressed. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  1. Slow decomposition: If your compost is not breaking down as quickly as you'd like, try turning the pile more frequently, maintaining proper moisture levels, or adding more green materials to boost nitrogen levels.
  2. Unpleasant odours: Bad smells can indicate an imbalance in your compost. Make sure you are maintaining a proper green to brown ratio, turning the pile regularly, and avoiding the addition of inappropriate materials.
  3. Pests: To discourage pests like rodents and insects, avoid adding meat, dairy, and oily foods to your compost, cover fresh green materials with brown materials, and consider using a compost bin with a secure lid or a pest-resistant design.

By following these tips and best practices, you can ensure that your home composting system is both efficient and enjoyable. Embrace the benefits of composting and join NCM Recycling and Waste Solutions in our shared commitment to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for future generations.

Some Products to Get You Started

  1. Kitchen Compost Bin: A small, stylish countertop compost bin can make it easy to collect kitchen scraps like vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells.
  2. Tumbling Composter: A tumbling composter is a great option for efficient and easy composting. It keeps the compost aerated, promoting faster decomposition. Example:
  3. Compost Thermometer: To monitor the temperature inside the compost pile and ensure optimal decomposition, a compost thermometer is a useful tool.
  4. Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin: For those interested in vermicomposting, this worm composting bin is a perfect choice. It allows worms to turn kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost.
  5. Compost Starter: To kick-start the composting process, a compost starter can be added to the pile, introducing beneficial microorganisms.
  6. Compostable Bags: For easy handling and transportation of kitchen scraps to the compost pile, compostable bags are a practical and eco-friendly solution.


Composting at home is a simple and effective way to reduce household waste, improve soil health, and contribute to a more sustainable environment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set up your own composting system and start reaping the benefits of this eco-friendly practice. As a partner in sustainable waste management, NCM Recycling and Waste Solutions is committed to promoting responsible waste disposal and supporting our clients and communities in their journey towards a greener future.