Home Composting Program
The Town of Hingham in partnership with the Cleaner Greener Hingham Committee are excited to announce a new Home Composting Program. On April 22, 2021 the Town of Hingham will be offering rodent-resistant home composting bins for $25, over 50 percent off the retail price. To obtain a discounted compost bin, please contact the DPW at (781) 741-1430. Act now, supplies are limited!
Composting is a great way to recycle our organic “waste” into a beneficial soil amendment for our yards and gardens. Composting at home can also help reduce the amount of trash we haul annually to Covanta SEMASS. Using the compost in our landscapes helps store carbon in the soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere. Residents can reduce their trash by 15 to 20 percent or more by composting leaves, grass clippings, garden debris, fruit peels, vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, paper towels, napkins and even paper bags.
An in-depth video entitled "Home Composting; Turning Your Spoils to Soil" is available for streaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5WiKIEe17c
What is Composting?
Composting is a controlled process of decomposition of organic material. Naturally occurring soil organisms recycle nitrogen, potash, phosphorus, and other plant nutrients as they convert the material into humus.
Benefits of Composting
Composting is a convenient, beneficial and inexpensive way to handle your organic waste and help the environment. Composting:
- reduces the volume of garbage requiring disposal;
- saves money for you and your community in reduced soil purchases and reduced local disposal costs; and
- enriches the soil. Using compost adds essential nutrients, improves soil structure, which allows better root growth, and increases moisture and nutrient retention in the soil. Plants love compost!
What You Should Compost
Yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings and weeds make excellent compost. All fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggs shells can be composted. To keep animals and odors out of your pile, do not add meat, bones, fatty food wastes (such as cheese, grease and oils), dog and cat litter, and diseased plants. Do not add invasive weeds and weeds that have gone to seed.
How to Use Compost
When the composted materials look like rich, brown soil, it is ready to use. Apply one-half to three inches of finished compost and mix it in with the top four inches of soil about one month before planting. Compost can be applied as a top dressing in the garden throughout the summer. Compost is excellent for reseeding lawns, and it can be spread one-quarter inch deep over the entire lawn to rejuvenate the turf. To make potting soil, mix equal parts compost, sand and loam. You may put the compost through a screen to remove large particles –these can go back into the pile.
Grass clippings, leaves and woody yard wastes can be used as mulch in gardens and around shrubs to keep the soil moist, control weed growth and add nutrients. Woody materials should be chipped or shredded. Use a mulch of pine needles around acid-loving plants. Leaves will work first as mulch, then as a soil enricher as they decompose. Grass clippings should be dried before using as mulch. Do not mulch with grass clippings which have been treated with herbicides; composting them first, however, will break down most herbicides.