Backyard Composting

Backyard Composting
(also check out the Vermicomposting subpage)

Composting fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, dry leaves, etc. is a great way for your family to nourish the earth vs tossing in the trash which is incinerated. Food waste containing bones, pizza, greasy pizza boxes, meat, etc. and people who can't do composting at home can nourish the earth by collecting and dropping off at the Irvington Farmers Market or A. F. Veteran Park in Greenburgh.

Buying a Compost Bin
Purchasing a composting vessel for your backyard is a great way to get started without a lot of initial time investment. There are many great options including the Earth Machine, Compost tumbler, and Wriggly Wranch Worm composting bins. Also, Westchester County is having a composting bin sale this fall. Check out the Home Composter and Rain Barrel Sale - Fall 2019.

Homemade Compost Bin

Ah, the joys of turning something you think you don’t need, don’t want and can’t wait to get rid of into something you don’t know how you managed without it.  

The practice of composting is just that. The biological byproducts of our gardening, our living, is only waste when we fail to recognize its value and throw it away; adding more volume to our already overwhelmed, costly waste management systems.

 If we stop and learn a few simple principles and practices, we will become skilled at transmuting waste into a rich resource for our gardens, house plants, lawns, wildlife habitats.


Choosing composting is a great way to be gentle to the environment and your wallet. The main reasons to consider composting include:

  • Reduce waste sent to a landfill
  • Reduce greenhouse gases by reducing fuel used for transport
  • Save money
  • Help Irvington control leaf removal costs
  • Good for your garden - nothing beats a nutritious compost mixture generated on site

Composting is not a very difficult process. It is nature’s way of recycling and returning valuable organic matter and nutrients to the soil to be used again.

Create a Compost Bin or Area
A compost bin is a structured area that you use to contain your compost. This structure could be made of wood, wire, or any material. The truth is you don’t even need a bin. All you really need is an area to pile raw materials for the composting. It is suggested that you don’t pile your materials on concrete, plastic, or anything else that doesn’t allow the materials to touch the dirt. The dirt is important because as the materials breakdown, worms will migrate into the compost and further assist with the process.

Materials that make the Compost
Grass clippings and leaves are critical to a composting process because they provide the nitrogen and carbon necessary to accelerate the breakdown of your composting materials.

Mother Nature needs 5 to 6 months in order to properly breakdown the raw materials to effectively turn them into usable compost. During this time, turn or mix the compost every couple of weeks.

Check out this one page visual guide - highly recommended: Composting Made Easy!

Links of Interest



 Westchester County Brochures:


VIDEOS: Composting videos (including: Lasagna Composting; Food Scrap Preparation)  - Cornell Co-operative Ext., Tompkins County, NY

VIDEO: How Stuff Works - Composting





Encourages consumers to grasscycle, mulch, and compost to reduce the amount of yard waste in the waste stream and provides details on how and what to compost.