Composting at CMN
Composting at the College of Menominee Nation starts in our nine silver compost collection buckets across campus. Located in individual departments as well as common areas, the organic material from these buckets is collected twice a week, weighed, and deposited into one of the three large compost tumblers on campus. These tumblers, one behind the SDI, one between Shirley Daly Hall and the library, and one on the south side of the campus commons, are turned regularly and break down the food waste in a matter of months. When the tumblers are full, the partially composted material inside is transferred to our three-bin composting system in the campus gardens to continue breaking down and to be stored until needed. Finished compost from CMN has been used in our campus gardens as well as by the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems in their demonstration garden and raised garden beds for elders and community members.
Why should I compost?
Composting is the original recycling! Food waste that ends up in landfills breaks down anaerobically, without oxygen. This process produces methane gas which contributes to the harmful impacts of climate change. Diverting this food waste and composting it allows it to break down and decompose aerobically, which does not produce methane. Composting food waste returns the nutrients to the soil, resulting in happier, healthier plants.
Does compost smell?
A healthy and well-balanced compost pile will have a mild, earthy smell. If your compost does have an odor, it is likely due to an overabundance of “green” materials. To correct this, add more “brown” materials such as shredded cardboard, paper, or leaves.
What can you compost?
Compost needs a balance of about two parts carbon-rich “brown” materials for every one part nitrogen-rich “green” materials. For at-home composting, green materials include items such as coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, fruits, vegetables, grass and lawn clippings, and tea bags. Brown materials that can be composted include newspaper, brush and twigs, shredded egg cartons or cardboard, paper, and leaves. Avoid composting greasy or oily foods, dairy products, and most products as these can become smelly, attract animals, and generally take much longer to break down.
Can I start my own compost pile?
Yes anyone can compost! Check out this resource from the EPA on starting your own compost pile.
Can I bring my compost to CMN?
Yes! If you want to compost but are not able to compost at home, collect your compostable materials and drop them off in one of our compost tumblers. Tumblers are located behind the SDI, between the library and Shirley Daly Hall, and on the south side of the campus commons.
What do I do with finished compost?
Mix your finished compost with your garden soil before planting to add nutrients back to the soil, improve water retention, balance the ph level, and more!