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Types of Composting

Types of Composting
Composting Resources

Backyard or Onsite Composting

Backyard or onsite composting can be conducted by residents and other small-quantity generators of organic waste on their own property. By composting these materials onsite, homeowners and select businesses can significantly reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of and thereby save money from avoided disposal costs. Learn how to create your own compost pile.

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Vermicomposting

Through this method, red worms-not nightcrawlers or field worms found in gardens- are placed in bins with organic matter in order to break it down into a high-value compost called castings. Worm bins are easy to construct (they are also commercially available) and can be adapted to accommodate the volume of food scraps generated.

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Aerated (Turned) Windrow Composting

Organic waste is formed into rows of long piles called “windrows” and aerated by turning the pile periodically by either manual or mechanical means. The ideal pile height, which is between 4 and 8 feet, allows for a pile large enough to generate sufficient heat and maintain temperatures, yet small enough to allow oxygen to flow to the windrow's core. The ideal pile width is between 14 and 16 feet.

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Aerated Static Pile Composting

In aerated static pile composting, organic waste is mixed together in one large pile instead of rows. To aerate the pile, layers of loosely piled bulking agents (e.g., wood chips, shredded newspaper) are added so that air can pass from the bottom to the top of the pile. The piles also can be placed over a network of pipes that deliver air into or draw air out of the pile. Air blowers might be activated by a timer or a temperature sensors.

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In-Vessel Composting

Organic materials are fed into a drum, silo, concrete-lined trench, or similar equipment where the environmental conditions-including temperature, moisture, and aeration-are closely controlled. The apparatus usually has a mechanism to turn or agitate the material for proper aeration. In-vessel composters vary in size and capacity.

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