by Matthew Krausse, LUTU member
Composting is a great way to individually affect our planet for the better. It creates healthy soil for your home garden, helps with pH levels in the soil, and reduces landfill waste, which creates powerful greenhouse gases. Composting can reduce your trash volume by up to 30%, which can allow you to get a smaller trash can! You don’t need a big yard or even an outdoor space to get started. There are a number of great, easy-to-use indoor/outdoor composting options.
Here in Austin, the city offers a great program you can use to start composting at home. If you live in a single-family home, the city will even pick up your compost if you don’t want to use it in your garden. Left Up To US is working to expand this service to multifamily housing, such as apartments — find your city councillor’s info at austintexas.gov/government and call them to show your support for this initiative.
Austin Resource Recovery offers most Austin residents (those who pay the Clean Communities fee on their utility bill) a $75 rebate on a home composting system. There are two ways to receive the rebate: attend class in person or complete an informative video online. Once you complete this requirement, you can either apply for a coupon to purchase your home composting system or purchase your system and be reimbursed.
All this information is available on the Austin’s city government’s website, austintexas.gov/composting.
What can be composted? If it grows, it goes:
- Coffee grounds
- Grass clippings
- Shredded paper
- Tea and coffee grains
- Vegetable and fruit scraps
- Wood chips
- Yard trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings)