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Earth Month, Day 10: Turning Trash into Treasure

The Zoo has been composting much of its organic waste for over a year now, and has recently begun composting in the Zoo Café. All of the plates, napkins, cutlery and most of the cups are compostable, as well as all of your food scraps.

Did you know that you can compost too, just like that Zoo? You can transform your kitchen and yard waste into a rich, nutritious compost for your garden.  It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Save the peels, cores, skins, etc. from your food scraps. Mix in with leaves, grass clippings, twigs, etc. into a compost bin or pile.
  2. Turn your compost bin or pile every once in awhile, and make sure it is as wet as a wrung out sponge.
  3. About 3 months later, your food and yard waste will have decomposed into rich, nutritious compost. It should smell like good, earthy soil, be a rich dark color and you shouldn’t be able to recognize anything in it (i.e. a banana peel).

About 60% of overall household waste is compostable. By turning this waste into rich compost, you can keep it out of the landfill and provide your plants with chemical free, nutrient rich soil amendments.

DO Compost in your Backyard Bins/Piles:

  • Fruit & Vegetable Scraps such as orange peels, apple cores, watermelon rinds, carrot tops, potato peels, grape stems, pistachio shells, etc.
  • Coffee grinds and tea bags
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Straw
  • Twigs and wood chips

DO NOT Compost in your Backyard Bins/Piles:

  • Dairy Products
  • Meat/Fish
  • Oils
  • Pet Waste
  • Weed Seeds

There are great resources around the City to help get your started, including compost bins sold at Park+Vine, classes and information given by the Civic Garden Center or Hamilton County Recycling & Solid Waste District, compost blogs, and  many more.

Next Tuesday, April 17th, the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District will be hosting a Composting Seminar right here at the Cincinnati Zoo at 6:30pm. Registration is required as space is limited.  Details can be found here.

Get started with turning your trash into treasure! Save space in the landfill, create rich compost and watch your garden grow.

 

 

2 comments

1 Michelle { 04.10.12 at 3:35 pm }

Great overview of backyard composting! I’m so excited about all of the composting efforts at the Zoo and I’m glad to hear you’ve started composting in the Cafe. You’re one step closer to being the first zero waste zoo! See everyone on the 17th!

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