Started: During the COVID-19 epidemic my workplace was closed down and then we were furloughed. It’s in this moment, with time effectively depopulated from its labor-master, that I decided to start a compost bin in my back patio.

Reasons for composting: partially complimenting the gardening I started, partially a way of creating a healthy circle of use, reuse, and reapplication. Recycling as we currently know it is a capitalist joke. The industry is inefficient, driven by profits that incentivize them to only recycle the easiest of materials. Composting actually rejuvenates the ecosystem, providing healthy materials for plants and various living creatures.

By composting I am taking direct action in bettering my environment. I see the results of my daily consumption, and how I can assist in its amicable re entrance into nature.

Starting materials and approach: first, a large plastic storage container with a plastic lid. My roommate drilled a series of holes in the sides, top, and bottom for air circulation. Two Chinese takeout containers were repurposed to hold daily vegetable trimmings, coffee grounds, egg shells, lint, and whatever else could be used before dumping them into the main container.

The plastic bin was layered with green and brown materials to engage the composting process (more on that later). First paper, leaves, and cardboard. Next, the “green” stuff from the takeout containers. Finally, another layer of leaves and paper. It needs to be mixed weekly (it decomposes faster the more you stir it), so I needed to acquire a useful tool for the purpose.