How do you control odor?

There is an easy fix to odors in your compost.  Odors occur when not enough air (oxygen) is present in the materials. This can be prevented by incorporating more brown material and thoroughly mixing or turning the compost materials, which allows more air into the material.

When is composting ready to use?

Compost PileThe compost is finished composting and ready to use when it has a uniform look (like soil): dark color, small particle size, and “earthy” odor.  Most of the materials you put in will no longer be recognizable.  It will take about two months to generate your first batch of compost, depending upon how much work goes into it. You may want to remove large materials that have not yet decomposed and throw them back into the bin. Use finished compost as a mulch, soil amendment, or potting soil. 

Where can I get a compost bin?

You can buy a bin online; many cities offer damaged trash cans as compost bins for free or for a small fee.  Click here to get more info on city of Phoenix's composter or click here to watch a video on building your own composter with wooden pallets.  

Benefits of composting

  • Incorporating compost into the soil can help to increase the soil's ability to retain moisture and reduce the need for fertilizers, herbicide or fungicide on farms, gardens and landscaping.
  • Improves the soil structure, porosity, and density, thus creating a better plant root environment.
  • Increases moisture infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, thus reducing erosion and runoff.
  • Improves water-holding capacity, thus reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils.
  • Supplies a variety of macro- and micro nutrients.
  • May control or suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens.
  • Supplies significant quantities of organic matter.






Compost Bin






Did You Know?

Composting can be as simple as making a pile of leaves and letting them sit until it decomposes

Compost aids in erosion control, promotes soil fertility, and stimulates development of healthy roots.

By composting, a typical household can reuse more than 500 pounds of  waste each year.

Do not use diseased vegetable or flower plants for composting.  These diseases may be returned to the garden.