Howard County will start a pilot program in September asking people to save food scraps for large-scale composting. Families fill a special 35-gallon container, and the county whisks it away once a week to a Woodbine company for composting, says the Sun.
Don't fall for this, people.
This program beats throwing your vegetable scraps in the trash, but old food is gold if you give it half a chance. Or maybe half a year in your own compost pile.
Composting is a great way to support your own vegetable garden. Collect shredded leaves in the fall, then mix your vegetable scraps over the year. By next summer, you'll have crumbly black compost to improve any garden that you have. That's Ulman's plan. They are taking your trash, and they'll sell it right back to you.
Composting is easy. Start small. Inside, get a pail to collect your kitchen scraps. Outside, create a compost spot -- as simple as a pile if you have the space or as small as a compost bin if you want to keep it out of sight. Get a garden fork, and you're ready to go. You can read a dozen techniques, but composting works fine even if you just mix "greens" and "browns" and leave them alone.
If you're lucky, you'll catch the bug. People throw leaves to the curb every fall. I collect a few dozen bags, some off the street, some off some friends in Columbia. I shred them, and I pile them between air handlers in my side yard. Over the year, I mix leaves into my pile to cover my kitchen scraps. Just this weekend, I extended a raised bed and mixed two huge containers of worm-packed compost from my pile. It barely dented my supply.
If you have the space, you should import vegetables instead of giving yours to Ulman for free. I wrote two years ago about how Roots and Mom's Organic Market will give you boxes of produce to mix into your pile. Buy a flexible bin like the Presto one in the box below. When you get those leaves in November, you layer someone else's leaves with free vegetables. Microbes love the mixture, and it burns down to compost.
There are really a thousand ways to compost. As simple as "layer and leave." As involved as weekly turning and trips to pick up old vegetables at Roots. Below, I recommend some basic bins, a counter-top pail, and a flexible bin that you could use in the fall. If I had more land, I'd build a three-bin system from wood and wire mesh. The bins work great though where you want to keep the pile contained in a small amount of space.