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FAQs

Questions and Answers (Q&A), supposed to be commonly asked in some context, If you have a question and answer that is not asked and answered on these pages, please contact us.

What are the different types of waste?

  • Wet waste Wet waste consists of kitchen waste - including vegetable and fruit peels and pieces, tea leaves, coffee grounds, eggshells, bones and entrails, fish scales, as well as cooked food (both veg and non-veg).
  • Dry Waste Paper, plastics, metal, glass, rubber, thermocol, styrofoam, fabric, leather, rexine, wood – anything that can be kept for an extended period without decomposing is classified as dry waste.
  • Hazardous waste Household hazardous waste or HHW include three sub-categories – E-waste; toxic substances such as paints, cleaning agents, solvents, insecticides and their containers, other chemicals; and biomedical waste.
  • E-waste E-waste or electronic waste consists of batteries, computer parts, wires, electrical equipment of any kind, electrical and electronic toys, remotes, watches, cell phones, bulbs, tube lights and CFLs.
  • Biomedical waste This includes used menstrual cloth, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, bandages and any material that is contaminated with blood or other body fluids.

What are ways of storing and discarding the waste at home?

  • Wet waste Compost your wet waste at home. Home composting can easily be done in any aerated container.
  • Dry Waste Store it in a bag in the utility area after cleaning and drying till it is picked up. No food residue must be left in the bottles and packets. Clean them as you would to reuse them. If clothes are totally unusable, or very damaged, they are categorized as dry waste. If clothes are soiled with body fluids, they become sanitary waste. If they are soiled with paint, or any chemicals, they are HHW (household hazardous waste).
  • E-waste Store them in separate container which is kept closed, away from moisture and in which nothing else is put.
  • Biomedical waste has to be wrapped separately in a newspaper and handed over to the municipality waste collection system. Expired medicines and injections, used syringes also have to be disposed in the same manner.
  • Hazardous waste Paint and other hazardous waste like cosmetics, mosquito repellents, tube lights etc have to be stored separately and handed over to the Municipal collection system.

What is composting?

At a basic level, composting is simply a process of rotting/ degrading organic waste which can be harnessed to feed your plants. Composting provides you with rich organic matter that does wonders to improve the quality of your garden soil. Whether you sprinkle compost on the surface of the soil or work it in, your garden plants and landscape will grow healthier and stronger thanks to the addition.

Do I need a special bin to make compost?

No, organic matter will eventually decompose. But a well aerated container of some sort will keep your pile neat, protect it from the weather and pests, and make the job of tending it much easier.

Do I need any accelerator to fasten/improve the composting process?

CompAdd does the job by itself. Adding any kind of accelerator is not necessary.

Should I wear gloves to handle compost?

If you haven't disposed pet manures in the composting piles/container, which contain bacteria harmful to humans, there is no need to wear gloves. Finished compost can be handled just as you would handle garden soil.

What are the types of organic waste that can be composted?

Organic waste include: Vegetable/fruit peels, tissue paper, rotten fruits/vegetables, wet and dried leaves, tea bags/coffee grinds, flowers, sawdust.

Can meat/bones be added to the composting pile?

Yes. But they decompose at a really slow pace. The problem with animal protein is that it breaks down very slowly. The moisture and heat in a compost heap that works so well to aid the breakdown of vegetable waste, will attract maggots in case of animal waste.

Can things like sambar and rasam be added?

No. Any liquid food waste added to the compost pile makes the pile soggy thus slowing down the process of composting, producing foul odour. You can drain the liquid and add only the solid particles.

Is newspaper safe to compost? Are the inks toxic?

Yes, Newspaper is safe to compost, but it breaks down quite slowly because of its high lignin content. (Lignin is a substance found in the woody cell walls of plants, and it is highly resistant to decomposition).

Most newspapers use water or soy-based inks. Although these may contain small amounts of toxic compounds, the trace levels are not of significant toxicological concern. Some caution should still be taken with glossy magazines, which sometimes use heavy metal based inks to produce vivid colors.

Is the Carbon: Nitrogen (C:N) ratio maintained in my compost pile? Is this important?

For best performance, the compost pile, or more to the point the composting microorganisms, require the correct proportion of carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein production. Scientists have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C: N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. CompAdd maintains an appropriate C: N ratio of 30:1 when added in the right proportions along with the kitchen waste.

Will it smell bad?

As long as your compost has enough airflow and sufficient C: N ratio maintained, there shouldn’t any objectionable odors emanating from your compost pile. If you do get foul-smelling odor, you should add more CompAdd or other bulking agent such as soil, old compost or leaves and mix the system to aerate it.

What if the pile has an odor?

An earthy scent is normal and inoffensive, but well-built compost shouldn't produce unpleasant odors. If it does, your problem is either too much "green" stuff (ammonia smell) or too little air (rotten-egg smell). First, aerate the pile. If the odor persists, turn and rebuild the pile with more "brown" materials or CompAdd.

When will I know when the compost is ready?

The compost should be dark and crumbly and have a pleasant earthy smell with a two-third reduction in volume by the end of composting process. Larger pieces of certain organic

Will my compost attract pests?

No it shouldn’t. If your kitchen waste is mixed well with CompAdd in the right ratios, your compost pile will not attract any insect, rodents, mosquitoes or other pests and will not cause any malodor.

What about flies?

Fruit flies or house flies can become a problem for indoor composters unless preventative measures are taken. If food scraps are to be composted, they should not be left exposed to the air. Instead, they should be covered by a layer of brown material such as soil, old compost, leaves, or CompAdd.

If fruit flies do become a problem, you can make a simple and highly effective trap. Just take a soda bottle and remove the lid. Cut the bottle into half, and pour cider vinegar into the bottom half to a depth of about 2 centimeters. Then invert the top half of the bottle into the bottom half, forming a funnel leading into the bottle. Fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and will get trapped or drowned in bottle.

I’ve got MAGGOTS! HELP!

Maggots are harmless. Maggots, or compost-dwelling soldier fly larvae, breed in compost bins because they thrive on the nitrogen-rich products of the decaying process that produces good compost fertilizer. They do not spread disease and even help the composting process by rapidly breaking down organic material. Maggots hate Eucalyptus Oil. Lightly spray your compost pile or container to keep the maggot population in check. Eucalyptus oil also keeps flies away.

Will there be leachate?

Composting in containers does produce leachate (Kitchen waste contains lot of water content. As it breaksdown the water comes out of it which is called leachate) that is prized by gardeners. Add sufficient CompAdd at the bottom of the containers along with some dried leaves or shredded paper to act as a leachate absorbent. Mixing the kitchen waste then with sufficient amount of CompAdd will control the moisture content in the composting unit.

Where is the best place to put a compost pile?

Pick a sheltered spot, out of the full summer sun and rain if possible. And give some thought to both convenience and appearance in choosing a location.

Why can’t compost pile be exposed to sunlight?

As the sunlight makes the composting pile dry thus varying its moisture level, it is recommended not to expose it to direct sunlight or even rainfall. Keep it moist! Not wet or dry!

Can I use Being Eco’s Compost on my garden?

Yes. Every bit of organic material that passes through your household can be returned to the soil. It is an excellent soil additive for lawns and gardens and is very suitable for food crops. It allows soil to retain moisture by providing essential nutrients to the soil.
Your garden benefits from our compost in the following ways:

  • Incorporates organic matter to feed microorganisms and macro organisms that maintain a healthy soil food web.
  • Enriches soil with nutrients for plant growth
  • Releases nutrients slowly so they don’t leach away as some synthetic fertilizers do
  • Improves soil structure

How good is the done compost to be used as manure in garden instead of fertilizer?

Compost provides needed plant nutrients. The final done compost (manure) obtained using CompAdd has been tested and approved as a good manure with an appropriate N,P,K content by the Government of Karnataka, Department of Horticulture, Bangalore. Therefore, if the done compost is being used, fertilizers are not required.

How can kitchen wastes be stored for later composting?

Collect food scraps in a plastic container in the fridge, if you have space or keep a tightly lidded container handy, covering each addition of compostable food wastes with just enough CompAdd or sawdust to control odors.

What if I make too much compost?

It's hard to imagine such a situation! The earth can use all of the organic matter you can give it, and you can apply compost at any time of the year. Dig it into flower beds, layer it over a vegetable garden, or spread it under a tree to feed the roots. Finely screened compost can be scattered over a lawn, or sterilized and mixed with potting soil for house plants. And you can store compost in a bag, as long as it is well protected from rain, wind and sun.