Ed Burske's "Can Composting Save the Planet"?
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Ed Burske's "Can Composting Save the Planet"?

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Presented to CarbonfreeDC, Ed Burske, author of theslowcook.com, gives a wonderful presentation on how to compost with limited yard space.

Presented to CarbonfreeDC, Ed Burske, author of theslowcook.com, gives a wonderful presentation on how to compost with limited yard space.

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    Ed Burske's "Can Composting Save the Planet"? Ed Burske's "Can Composting Save the Planet"? Presentation Transcript

    • Can Compost Save Planet Earth? An urbanite’s guide to recycling organic matter
    • What’s Wrong with this Picture?
    • Where Does it Go?
    • The City’s Secret Compost
    • Two-Stroke Engines: A World-Wide Scourge
      • Leaf blower compared to automobile:
      • 145 times more hydrocarbons
      • 7.5 times more carbon monoxide
      • 11 times more particulate matter
      • Unacceptable noise levels
      • Source: California EPA, 2000
    • A Culture of Pollution
      • Filling lawn mowers spills more fuel every year than the Exxon Valdex – 17 million gallons every day
      • Spilled gasoline produces 87 million tons of pollution every day
      • Source: U.S. EPA
    • Landfills: What a Waste
      • Yard trimmings and food scraps comprise 45 percent of material sent to landfills
      • Anything that was once alive – yard trimmings, food scraps – can b composted instead
    • Saving Planet Earth
    • Who is this Man? (and why did he care so much about earthworms?)
    • The Truth About Worms
      • 1 million earthworms per acre
      • 1,000 tons of castings per acre each year
      • Worm castings are a valuable fertilizer, high in plant nutrients and beneficial microbes
    • Compost = Nature’s Recycling System
    •  
    •  
    • Compost and Fertility
    • The Worldwide Search for Fertilizer
    • The Haber-Bosch Process
    • Artificial Fertilizer: Blessing or Curse?
    • Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
    • Modern Homeowners Embrace Haber’s Process
    • Chesapeake Death Zone
    • The Ultimate Irony
    • Backyard Composting
    • A Basic Formula
    • “Greens” and “Browns”
      • Equal parts green materials – such as grass clippings – and brown materials – such as leaves
      • Water
      • Aerate (turn)
    • Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio
      • Ideal: 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen
      • Don’t worry if you can’t remember this formula
      • Kitchen waste: 15/1
      • Horse manure: 30/1
      • Leaves: 55/1
      • Sawdust: 440/1
      • Carboard: 500/1
    • How Compost Happens: The Decomposers
    • Benefits of Compost
      • Improves soil structure
      • Feeds vital soil organisms
      • Slowly releases plant nutrients
      • Increases water retention
      • Balances soil pH
      • Encourages healthy root systems
      • Helps suppress plant diseases, reduce need for pesticides
    • Things to Compost
      • Animal manure
      • Cardboard rolls
      • Clean paper
      • Coffee grounds and filters
      • Cotton rags
      • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
      • Eggshells
      • Fireplace ashes
      • Fruits and vegetables
      • Grass clippings
      • Hair and fur
      • Hay and straw
      • Houseplants
      • Leaves
      • Nut shells
      • Sawdust
      • Shredded newspaper
      • Tea bags
      • Wood chips
      • Wool rags
      • Yard trimmings
    • What Not to Compost
      • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
        • Releases substances that might be harmful to plants
      • Coal or charcoal ash
        • Might contain substances harmful to plants
      • Dairy products (e.g., butter, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, yogurt)
        • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
      • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
        • Diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants
      • Fats, grease, lard, or oils
        • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
      • Meat or fish bones and scraps
        • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
      • Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter)
        • Might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans
      • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides
    • Basic Composting Bins
      • Minimum 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft to generate heat
      • Accessible for turning
      • Not too large
      • Wire, wood, concrete blocks, straw bales
      • Above ground or in a pit
      • Covered or not covered
    • Wire Bins
    • Wooden Bins
    • Masonry Bins
    • Composting in Place
    • Large-Scale Composting
    • Compost from Tree Waste
    • Kitchen Scraps
    • Alternative Bin: Trash Can
    • Manufactured Bins
    • Composting with Manufactured Bin
    • Avoid Odors & Vermin
      • Maintain aerobic conditions – not too moist
      • Use sealed containers if composting kitchen scraps – or refrain from composting calorie-dense foods
    • Problem: Winter
    • Composting with Worms
    • Worm Bins
    • Automatic Composting
      • Built-in electric element
      • Composts all food scraps (including meat & dairy)
      • 5 kwh per month
    • Bokashi Composting
      • Anaeorobic fermentation
      • Layers of wheat bran
      • Composts meat & bones
      • Drain off liquid
      • Use in garden or compost pile
    • Thank you!
      • The Slow Cook
      • www.theslowcook.com
      • D.C. Urban Gardeners
      • www.dc-urban-gardeners.com
      • D.C. Public Works
      • www.dpw.dc.gov