University of Florida

Compost Maintenance

Compost is an easy way to reduce your kitchen and yard waste and to create organic material for your landscape, but compost bins do require some maintenance.

Balanced compost has equal layers of "brown" materials, such as dead leaves, and "green" materials, like food scraps or grass clippings. To make compost fast, turn the pile frequently to add oxygen, and keep it moist. Compost should smell earthy, like a forest floor. Bad odors usually mean the compost pile is too wet or needs turning.

Make sure kitchen scraps are mixed into the center of the pile and covered with brown materials. Keep meat, fish, and dairy products out of the pile. Flies and animals should not be attracted to your compost bin if it's properly maintained.

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