Backyard composting is the sustainable use of resources. It takes household scraps and yard waste and turns it into an ecologically friendly soil amendment.
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Rats are naturally attracted to a compost bin for its food source and for potential habitat. Composting should be done in a rodent proof structure. Turn your compost regularly to ensure critters don’t take up residence. Add sufficient nitrogen to keep the compost hot. This will break down food scraps quickly making them less attractive to rodents.
Dogs and cats are not herbivores like cows, horses and goats. Manure from omnivorous animals may carry harmful parasites that can cause disease in people. It is best bury this material in a hole in your backyard 12 inches deep, covered with 6 inches of soil, in a non-food growing area of the yard. This material is also NOT allowed in the food waste/yard debris bin.
Compost containing food waste can be higher in nutrients because food scraps are often higher in nitrogen than yard waste only compost.
Beginning October 1, 2019, customers who have residential garbage service will have the option to put food waste in their yard debris bin instead of in the garbage. This citywide program comes after a successful three-year residential curbside food waste collection pilot program that included 1,500 households in four Eugene neighborhoods. The mixed food waste and yard debris will be turned into nutrient-rich compost by local processors. And because these organics will be commercially composted, you can include food waste items that you would not want to put in your home compost, such as meat and bones. For more information, please contact 541-682-5655 or check out our Residential Food Waste Collection page.
For more information about backyard composting, contact OSU Extension Service Compost Specialists, or attend a free compost education demo.