One of the yearly holiday traditions in our house...having at LEAST one pumpkin that is slowly but surely liquifying. THIS year, we took it a step further and forgot out the one in our storage unit and when we opened the door a month was less than pleasant.

If YOU are looking for a way to toss those rotting pumpkins other than just tossing them in a trash bag and into the garbage, there are ways to compost and help with greenhouse gases being released into the environment. I'm not going to lie, it can be pretty confusing to do and quite frankly, I've learned just TODAY, that I've been doing some things wrong in my years of composting.

According to University of Northern Colorado alumnus Geoff Schmidt, and Common Good Compost founder whether you live in a house, apartment, college students...anyone can compost if you just take a little time, have a little patience and some knowledge.

So let's drop some of that knowledge on you.

Instructions for at-home composting

1. Choose a container with a lid at least 1 cubic yard in volume to hold the food and yard waste. 

2. Fill the bin roughly 1/4 full of yard waste or other carbon material. Dried leaves, grass and branches or paper towels are recommended.

3. Add food waste — with the exception of raw meat, bones and liquid — to the bin.  The waste must also be wet but not soaked. If the waste is too dry, the composting process may take longer. Adding nitrogen-rich coffee grounds can help with the process. Coffee shops often provide used grounds for composting purposes.

4. Stir the mixture of food waste and yard waste after two weeks of adding food. This can be done with a pitchfork, large stirrer or electric auger. Tumbler style bins need just be turned. A compost thermometer can help determine the best time to stir the contents.

5. Add another 1/4 bin-worth of yard waste to the mix before putting in more food waste. This will begin the second thermophilic stage. Continue the process until the bin is filled. Compost will take up less space as the waste begins to break down.

6. It may be necessary to add a second bin while the first one finishes the composting process. It can be difficult to add food waste when the bin is already full. By the time the second bin is filled, the first can be emptied.

People can sift the finished product before use. Any leftover material can return to the compost bins.

K99 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Photos: 10 Reminders to 'Leave No Trace' in Colorado


More From K99