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Frequently Asked Questions

Please check out the most frequently asked questions, if you need more information please contact us.


How do I learn how to prevent pollution?

Check out our prevent pollution page.


Can I make my compost pile go faster?

Yes, you can chop up leaves with your mower, increasing the surface area which make the pile compost faster. You can also water the pile when it's dry outside - the microbes that do the actual composting need consistent moisture to do their best work. If you have a leaf only pile, adding green weeds or grass clippings also causes faster composting. Add about one quarter green material to your brown leaves.

Can I just bury food scraps in the ground?

Some gardeners use a post hole digger to get down six to eight inches, then bury grains, fruit and vegetable scraps. This is deep enough to discourage animals from digging it up, but it still composts.

Are there other easy ways to compost fall leaves?

You can rake them on concrete, put on safety glasses and run over them with your mower. Presto - instant mulch! Save in bags over the winter to mulch with in early summer. Putting down up to four inches of chopped up leaves on your garden plants in June means even moisture for them, less weeding for you all summer. Just keep mulch two inches away from plant stems.

In the fall you can also put leaves directly in the garden. Pile up to two feet of leaves on the garden, shovel them in as best you can, then sprinkle soil on top to hold them down. 90% will be decomposed by spring. Just pull back the remaining leaves and plant as usual. This method eliminates turning and puts the compost right where you need it.

How Do I Compost Leftover Food Scraps?

You need an enclosed bin to compost fruit, vegetable and grain scraps to exclude animals. Make your own by cutting out the bottom of a study plastic trash can and setting it in the ground about eight inches. Fill three quarters full with fall leaves, then add food scraps. Pull leaves over the food each time you add it. Continue to add leaves as the pile decomposes down.

You can easily save 500 pounds of food scraps from the landfill every year using this method. Never add meat, dairy or grease to your pile.

Tippecanoe Soil and Water Conservation District Office sells rotating enclosed bins. Call 765/474-9992 x 3 for more information.

Also see for other bins to order and more composting ideas.

What if my bin smells bad?

You need to get oxygen into it. Add more fall leaves and stir or poke the pile to get air into it. Microbes that can live in environments without oxygen create bad smells, and you want to encourage the other kind. If the pile is too wet or has too much green material it can smell. The solution is the same - add leaves or chopped up paper and stir. Some composters drill holes in plastic pipe and insert into the midde of their piles. This introduces air, and can also be used to get water into the middle of the pile.

Can I compost in an apartment?

If you live in an apatment or have a small yard you can now consturct or purchase a bin made for indoor composting. The bins will allow you to dispose of food scraps and produce soil in your home with reduced oder. Once you have made soil you can used it in house plants or donate it to local school and community garden projects. For more tips on constucting your own bin and what to do with the soil follow the links below.

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Tippecanoe County Solid Waste Management District (Tippecanoe) (Not on Map)
Lafayette, IN 47904


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