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Compost Sites

  1. City Compost Site is available for Defiance City Residents only. Proof of residency is required. It is located at State Route 281 East at the GM Waste Water Treatment Entrance.
  2. Nothing But Nature, 9780 Rd 171, Oakwood – 1 mile South of Charloe on River Road, (419) 594 – 2438 (Leaves & Grass – pickup truck $5.00, bag $1.00).
  3. Garden Scape, State Route 66 North, between Four County School and Archbold. (419) 445-6561.

Making Your Own Composting Pile

Starting a compost pile is as simple as following a recipe, and in fact, your kitchen is where a lot of your compost materials will come from. Below are a few composting basics you should know before starting your own pile, including what ingredients to use and what to avoid.

Why Compost?

  • It's the ultimate garden fertilizer and one of nature's best mulches and soil amendments.
  • You can make it without spending any money.
  • It's easy.

How to Get Started and What You'll Need

  • Compost bin: The easiest way to compost is in containers (simple home-made or store bought). You'll use the bin to "store" garden waste in a contained and organized way while the materials break down.
  • Pitch fork: The best hand tool for turning your compost pile.
  • The right location: A well-chosen site can help speed up the composting process. Look for a level, well-drained area. Keep it accessible so you won't be inclined to neglect the pile.

Compost Recipe Ingredients

  • The basic recipe for composting includes: greens, browns, water, air and time.
  • Many organic materials are suitable for a compost pile. Ideally the pile should be made up of the proper ratio of carbon-rich materials--or "browns." Browns include dried leaves, straw, and wood chips. Even paper bags and drier lint are okay. And it needs nitrogen rich materials or "greens" such as grass clippings.
  • Kitchen scraps are also considered a "green." Kitchen waste can include things like egg shells, orange rinds, vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds.
  • Collect kitchen waste in a small container in the kitchen to bring to the pile every few days.
  • The ideal ratio approaches 25 parts browns to 1 part greens.

Things to Avoid

Avoid using any meat, fat, grease, oils, dairy products, bones, dog droppings, lime or fireplace ashes in your compost.

Composting: The Easy Two-Week Method

  • Keep ingredients small, no more than two inches in size.
  • Don't layer materials. Mix ingredients either before or after shredding and chopping.
  • Pile in heaps of no more than 5 feet.
  • Turn the pile from the inside out on a daily basis for usable compost in two weeks. (Turn every other day for compost in three weeks.)
  • When the pile has become somewhat smaller and the color of the material is dark brown, your compost is ready to use.

Other Composting Tips

  • Keep the pile moist, but not soggy. If it's too wet, it will smell. If it is too dry, decomposition will be very slow.
  • An ammonia odor may indicate that there's an imbalanced mix of ingredients. Add sawdust to control odor.
  • Grass clippings break down quickly and contain as much nitrogen as manure.
  • Avoid meat and fish scraps. These will attract rodents and cause a smelly compost pile.

Avoid using any parts of the black walnut tree as they contain a plant poison that survives composting. Eucalyptus leaves can also be toxic to other plants.

Class III/IV Compost Annual Reports