Aerobic Composting

Aerobic composting is decomposition of organic matter using microorganisms that require oxygen. The end result is rich in nutrients for the soil and is often referred to as "Black Gold".

DIY

1

Get a bucket with a lid. Drill small holes around the bucket for air circulation. 

Good aeration:

  • prevents odours

  • fastens the decomposition

  • A bucket with a lid will prevent fruit flies and other pests getting into the pile.

  • Don't drill big holes as the contents of the bin may spill out.

  • Don't keep it in a place where rain water could seep in.

2

In another bucket, soak microbial cocopeat block in half a liter of water.

After about 2-3 hours, the block will disintegrate into a powder that can be used for layering with the food waste.

  • Do not soak in excess water.

  • Store in an air-tight bucket with a lid.

3

Add three handfuls of  loose microbial cocopeat in the bottom. This will help in absorbing excess moisture from the organic waste.

Excess moisture can lead to foul smell and maggots. Adding sufficient cocopeat can prevent this.

4

Add a layer of your kitchen waste.

If this is your first time composting, use only fruit and vegetable peels.

Avoid any leftover food and liquids as it may lead to excess moisture.

5

Add a layer of cocopeat to completely cover the food waste.

Covering the food waste sufficiently with cocopeat will

  • prevent excess moisture

  • keep fruit flies away

6

Repeat steps 4 and 5 everyday by layering kitchen waste and cocopeat. Close the lid.

Remember to use only fruit and vegetable peels and avoid using leftover food until you get a better understanding of the composting process. 

If the compost pile is soggy with excess moisture and odour, add more cocopeat.

7

Once the bucket is full:

  • close the lid

  • leave it outdoors in a sheltered area for 3-4 weeks

Maggots or larva of the black soldier fly is a common and natural occurrence during composting.

To reduce maggots:

  • drill small holes to prevent maggots from creeping out

  • add 2 tablespoons of turmeric or neem powder into the pile

  • control excess moisture by adding sufficient cocopeat

8

Voila! After 3-4 weeks, the organic waste in your bucket will turn to wet-earth smelling "Black Gold" - Compost!

Your compost is ready when it looks, feels and smells like rich, dark earth rather than rotting vegetables. In other words, it should be dark brown, crumbly and smell like earth. 

 © 2020, Solid Waste Management Round Table, Bengaluru

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