1. Don’t throw away your kitchen scraps — add them to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are all outstanding materials to add.
2. If you’re composting with a compost pile, bigger is often better. Heat builds up with a big pile. You don’t want to get much bigger than about 3 feet by 3 feet though.
3. Keep your compost aerated! If you are composting with a tumbling composter, make sure you turn it whenever you add new materials. If you are composting with a pile, or in a static (non-tumbling) compost bin, be sure to mix up the contents so that the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively. Use a compost aerating tool like this one.
4. Don’t let the compost completely dry out. A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active.
5. Don’t keep your compost too wet so that it gets soggy and starts to stink. Just as too dry is bad, too wet is also something that you should avoid.
6. Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. In general, it’s good to keep a mix of green and brown material (see main page for more details on this).