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The Science of Compost

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The Science of Compost

Composting at home is fairly straightforward, but can go wrong quickly, and your nose knows when the compost container isn’t working properly. A functioning compost pile should smell faintly like warm earth. There are several causes of foul-smelling compost, and several practical solutions.

Mark King is a compost expert with the division of solid waste management at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. He said all stinky compost problems come down to “breakdowns in pile management,” largely due to neglect. “Many people read how easy it is to compost and tend to think you can just toss stuff into a pile and in 6 to 12 months you will have compost,” King said.

“This popular misconception has led to more than a few unhappy home owners who end up with a stinky offensive mess. However, provided with the proper technical support and educational outreach, they are able to turn things around, and happiness returns.”

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88 comments

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8:11AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

thanks for sharing

1:01AM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

An important article to read if you want to compost.

11:35PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

THANKS 2 INFORM

12:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

great! thanks for the info.

12:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

great! thanks for the info.

7:05PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Compost is awesome. ty for the article.

8:12AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

thanks, this is so important

8:11AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

thanks

11:09AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Wow thank you for this great information on composting. I had no idea there was a "right way" to do it until reading your article. Keep up the good work!

9:32PM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Adding paper is somethingI haven't been doing..Thankyou! I love Care2, I learn so many tips so fast, that improve my life! Thankyou, again!!

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