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Composting and Food Waste

Did you know that almost 17% of the waste Nebraskans send to landfills is food? Add to that yard waste and other compostable materials and you can greatly reduce the volume of waste going to landfills while providing a valuable resource for your garden!

Step One: Choose a Bin and Location
You can use a commercially made bin or tumbler or even a homemade bin will work! Choose a location that is level and well-drained and place on bare earth rather than pavement so worms and other beneficial organisms can work into the pile.

Step Two: Add Good Compost Materials - Greens and Browns


  • Fruit and Vegetable Peelings
  • Grass Clippings
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Fresh Manure
  • Green plant cutting
  • Annual weeds
  • Yard trimmings
  • Houseplants


  • Leaves
  • Hay & Straw
  • Shredded Paper & Cardboard
  • Woody prunings
  • Eggshells
  • Teabags
  • Sawdust
  • Dryer & Vacuum cleaner lint

Do not Add

  • Meat and bones
  • Poultry and fish
  • Fatty food waste
  • Whole eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Human & pet feces
  • Pernicious Weeds

Step Three: Make Your Compost
Start with a layer of dried leaves, twigs, hay or straw at the bottom of the bin. Water thoroughly to encourage bacterial growth. Then it is simply a matter of alternating layers of green and brown (much like a lasagna) to create good compost.

Step Four: Using Your Compost
It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 months to produce your finished compost - this is because of the materials and methods used.  Compost is ready when it has broken down into a dark and crumbly substance with an earthy, soil-like smell.