– Flat plot of land with good access. Size according to planned size of compost park.
– Pallets enough to make the necessary amount of compost boxes, hammer, nails, ropes.
– Shovel, rake, plastic sheets, big sift, bags, scales, string, transport.
Getting the park ready:
Make a lane of boxes according to the pallets size by nailing the pallets together forming consecutive U shapes.
The U shaped boxes will only be closed up when they are in use.
If you make more than one lane of compost boxes, make sure you leave enough space between 2 lanes to pass easily with the transport.
Keep a free space for sorting all organic materials.
Keep a free space to install the sift for comfortable winnowing.
Planning the natural recourses:
Look for places where you can find raw organic waste materials. Ex: local markets, wood dealers, carpenters, gardeners, farmers, hotels and restaurants etc.
Before you go and meet people to provide you with the needed organic materials, make sure you have a clean and serious appearance. Make sure that you know how you will approach them. Know what you will tell them. Be ready to answer questions. Give them the necessary attention.
If you choose the local market: Meet every market vendor that sells fresh fruits and vegetable. Introduce yourself and explain that working together can help to have a cleaner market/working place. If they agree to join this activity, give them a bag and let them know that you or your partner will pick it up in the evening during market closing hours.
The only thing the vendor has to do is to put raw organic waste materials into the bag that you provide them on daily bases. Explain to your candidate that it is very important that no other materials (ex. Plastics, metals or any inorganic materials) should be thrown into the bag.
Make sure that the vendor understands that the bags that you provide are by no means a gift but are only meant for cooperating with your composting program and will be picked up, either used or unused.
Explain to the vendors their benefits:
The benefit the vendors will have: a cleaner and less smelly working environment. A more attractive market place that will attract more customers and therefor more sales. Less rats.
At the markets you will get mostly the so called “wet organic waste materials”.
Write down names and numbers of the vendors.
To get the right balance you will need enough so called“dry raworganic waste materials”.
You can: Find carpenters, woodcarvers, rice farmers, give them bags to fill up with wood shavings and rice straw. Make an appointment for pick up or ask them to send you an sms to let you know when the bags are fool and ready to pick up. Note their names addresses,hp numbers and give yours to them.
Let people know what exactly is organic and what does not go in the bag:
Yes: Only raw non animal: dry and wet leafs from veggies, fruits, trees….
No: meat, fish, any type of plastic, metal, sanitary napkins, baby napkins, coocked foods, clothing and other fabrics, etc.etc…..
Find professional gardeners. They will have a lot of organic waste. As well wet and dry waste materials. The only thing you need to be careful with is “seeding weeds”. If your composting process does not reach a temperature of at least 68 degrees Celsius the seeds in the compost could grow, which is undesirable. Therefor it is advisable to avoid anything seeding.
Note their names, addresses, Hp numbers and give yours to them.
Always make sure to have stock of dry organics ready. Dry organics are easy to store and do not get smelly or sticky during storage.
When you get fresh prune branches/wood, chip it as soon as possible with the machine. That is the very best dry organic material you can have for enhancing the composting process.
As soon as any materials arrive, sort them according to their utility; ex; whatever can be used to feed the animals, sort it, feed it to live stock or sell it for feeding life stock.
Whatever big peace of material you find; chop or cut it up before adding to the compost heap, so the composting process can go fast and efficient.
Starting up a compost box:
Always leave the first compost box of the lane empty. You will need it later to turn over the compost.
Make sure you always start with a layer of at least 15 cm of dry airy materials.
Than you can put a layer of 15cm of wet materials.On top of that add again a layer of dry organics. Then again wet organics and continue layer by layer until the box is full enough to install the front pallet and attach it with ropes to the other pallet walls. Continue to fill up in layers until a heap sticking out above the pallets edges. Now you can let nature do the rest of the work for a while.
Note: following time specifications are more particular for tropical climate.
Let the filled up boxes rest for about 2 weeks.
Continue to fill up box after box.
Each box that has been full about 2-3 weeks earlier will be decreased about 2/3 in size.
Take away the front pallet and move the content into the empty box and place a plastic sheet to cover the top part of the compost heap.
Another 2-3 weeks later you can uncover the heap and sift.
Big pieces of materials that are left in the sift are to be put back in the compost box to continue the process. Small size half-digested materials can either go back into the compost box to continue the digestion process or they can immediately be used on agriculture land. On the land the organic material will continue to digest, feed and make the soil lighter, hold moist and release moist when necessary which makes watering necessities less.
The finest materials that goes through the sift are 100% pure compost.
100% pure compost needs to be mixed 1 compost / 4 soil. If not; plants will burn because I is to strong.
Potting soil is mostly ¼ compost, soil and sold this way ready to use.
Uses for compost:
A few examples: Potting soil, soil improver, soil lightener, soil moist keeper, erosion preventer.
Pack the potting soil or pure compost and sell.
Detecting problems and solutions
The composting process is a natural process. Human beings cannot make compost; nature does. What we can do is make the conditions for the composting process as favorable as possible.
The key rule is “balance”. Balance between wet organics, dry organics, air and water is most important. We need to make sure that all necessary elements are mixed in the right balance so the processing bacteria, fungi and insects have enough food, water and air. To much water makes the organics sticky and anaerobic. Not enough water makes the composting environment hostile for the necessary activities.
Most often problems encountered are: bad smell, fly infestation are failure of the composting process (no evolution, no digestion).
When there is a bad smell or/and fly infestations, you can be sure that the unbalance is between dry and wet organics. In this case you need to add dry organics and mix properly.
When there is no change in the compost heap (it does not go down) it means the bacterias, fungi and insects do not have enough water to do their job.
Add water or more wet materials to restore the balance.
If possible, put your compost boxes in the shadow, so they do not dry out to fast. You can also cover to keep the moist in the heap or keep out excess water during raining season.