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It’s Time to Start Your Compost Pile

Conserve water, reduce waste, and save money by composting


by TCEQ staff

Summer is here. It’s a great time to get your compost pile started. It takes three to four months for organic ingredients to break down and form compost, so starting in the summer means you’ll have a finished product ready in time to fertilize your yard this fall. In most parts of Texas, applying compost in the fall helps prepare plants for winter.

Many of the items that typically go in the trash, like food scraps, paper products, and leaves, can be composted. Composting benefits the environment by helping reduce landfill waste and conserve water.

  • Food scraps account for nearly 15 percent of household waste. Fruits and vegetable peels can be composted instead of going in the trash.
  • Leaves, grass clippings, and other yard debris make up 13 percent of the waste sent to landfills each year, and it costs Texans over $250 million a year to collect and dispose of that waste. Instead of throwing them out in the garbage, many yard materials can be useful.
  • Compost can serve as a soil conditioner that nourishes your yard. It supplements or replaces chemical fertilizers, which reduces runoff that could harm waterways.
  • Mixing compost into your lawn or garden also reduces the need for watering by up to 60 percent. Not only will you save money on your water bill, you’ll also save time watering and fertilizing your lawn.

To learn more, read “Mulching and Composting, A Take Care of Texas Guide” or watch the video “How to Start Composting in Your Own Backyard” for instructions on starting a compost pile.

At TakeCareOfTexas.org, you can pledge to do your part to Take Care of Texas, and we’ll mail you a free Texas State Parks Guide.

Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the TCEQ that encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

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