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Learn how to compost at home

Smith's Zero Waste Hero: Wasatch Community Gardens
Posted at 1:54 PM, Jun 08, 2023

Have you ever wondered how to maintain a composting station at your home?

FOX 13's Morgan Saxton met up with James Loomis the Director of Agriculture Operations at Wasatch Community Gardens in Salt Lake City to learn how.

Tina Murray, Smith's Food & Drug Manager of Corporate Affairs, joined in on the action supporting their work to reduce food waste.

"Composting is my favorite way to stop food waste from ending up in the landfill, but rather transform it back into an amendment for my garden," James explained as he was making his massaged kale salad for lunch.

"I generate lots of little excess veggie waste that gets chopped up and can go in my compost," he said.

James suggests composting everything from fruit to vegetables except meats, cheese, and bread in an urban environment.

"We don't want to attract rodents," he said.

You can also compost a lot of that junk mail that's coming into your house, including cardboard. "I do want to avoid full color glossy materials," James said holding up a colorful granola bar package.

"What that does is really help soak up all the gunk and liquid and keep our compost clean," he said, "which encourages more participation in the kitchen."

Any vessel that fits in your kitchen with a lid is perfect for composting and when that's full take it out to your bin.

Mixed more paper nitrogen with your food waste, making composting quick and easy.

"You want to keep it the right moisture," James explained. "The consistency of a rung out dish rag (is recommended) and turn it as often as your motive to keep incorporating oxygen into that pile."

James says it's like a pet, the more attention you give it, the better it turns out.

Composting takes as little as eight weeks if taking a more active role turning and monitoring moisture, or up to a year if you want to be a little more patient.

"It's a way for everyone to participate," Tina said. "It's important to me personally because I'm a gardener and an aspiring composer."

"Let's admit it, we're all buying and growing more produce this time of year trying to be healthy and get out there in our yard," she said, "but we're not always eating everything that we're growing or buying."

Tina suggests this is such a way to cut costs because we don't have to buy the compost and as a way to nourish gardens and eliminates waste.

She concluded: "It's such a win, win for everyone."

That's why they're the Smith's Zero Hunger Zero Waste Hero.