Backyard Composting

The natural decomposition of organic material creates compost. Compost is nature’s way of returning needed nutrients to the soil. It’s easy to start your own compost pile at home. The idea behind a compost pile is to create the ideal set of conditions in which natural decomposition occurs.

To get started with backyard composting, you may want to use a compost bin. The advantage of using a bin is that it keeps your pile neat and helps retain moisture and heat. You can make your own or buy a bin. The Solid Waste Management Division has compost bins available for purchase to San Bernardino County residents only.

Please call 909-386-8701 for pricing on our current supply of compost bins. Composting bins available to San Bernardino County Residents only. Cost varies on your residence. Bins are available at the San Bernardino County Solid Waste Management Division office located at 222 W. Hospitality Lane – 2nd Floor, San Bernardino, CA 92415. Scheduling an appointment to purchase bins is highly encouraged. Bins cannot be shipped.

Download the Compost Bin Specifications & Features in adobe pdf format.

Next Steps…

After acquiring your compost bin, follow the recommended composting recipe below to get started:

Greens: Lawn clippings, trimmings, livestock manure, fruit and vegetable scraps. Greens are the nitrogen source of the pile. Greens are sometimes referred to as the wet materials. Browns: Wood chips, dried leaves, straw, sawdust, newspaper. Browns are the carbon source in your pile. Browns are sometimes called the dry materials. Water: Our hard-working micro-organisms that will decompose this material get thirsty. Air (oxygen): And they need to breathe!

Combine equal parts of green and brown material. One cubic yard of material is a good starting point (cubic yard = 3’w x 3’h x 3’d). Mix in water until the pile is as damp as a moist sponge. Turn (fluff up) your pile once a week. Add water if needed. Your pile should get warm. After several months (the actual time will vary based on many factors such as how often you turn the pile), when the material is a dark brown color and smells earthy like humus, your compost is ready for use. Compost is a natural material that can be used as mulch or soil amendment. 

Upcoming Backyard Composting Workshops/Training

Please go to our Upcoming Events for a complete listing

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