Entries by Lynn Lucas


How much does compost weigh?

How much does compost weigh? Depending on moisture level, figure 2 to 2.5 cubic yards of compost per ton.  A one cubic foot bag of compost will weigh about 40 pounds (1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet). A product shipped at 30 percent moisture will weigh less than one at 60 percent when it crosses […]


Are compost and fertilizer the same?

Are compost and fertilizer the same? Compost and fertilizer are not the same. But compost does have fertilizer value. Wikipedia describes fertilizer as “any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.” Compost’s nitrogen, phosphorus, […]


Compost maturity, stability not the same

The Compost Connoisseur  Compost maturity and stability are not the same  A mature compost is usually stable, but a stable compost may not be mature.  Yet, both products have their uses.  Though the terms “maturity” and “stability” are often used interchangeably to describe compost, they should not be.   Confused?  Look at a red and green tomato.  Both are stable and edible.  But […]


Food waste collection

Food waste collection: Thinking outside the trash can Food waste collection can be a major hurdle for communities hoping to recycle curbside.  But might the real problem be not the what, but the how?  Is it time to think outside the trash can? Let’s ponder this a minute.    Waste 360 recently spotlighted grassroots recycling as a […]

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Build modern composting infrastructure with no public financing

Attract professional composters to your city’s waste management table  Composting high volumes of source-separated organics (SSO) is not for the faint of heart.  It takes skill, experience, and science to recycle one of the messiest urban waste streams.  But while composting done right doesn’t come cheap, it is possible to build modern composting infrastructure without public financing.  Instead […]

What is compost used for?

What is compost used for? “What is compost used for?  What’s the difference between compost and manure, or compost and topsoil, or compost and mulch, or compost and…?” These questions (or some variation thereof) have been posed in Google searches by thousands of McGill Compost website visitors over the years, suggesting a broad lack of understanding on the […]


Is composting food waste wasting food?

Is composting food waste wasting food?  Until recently,  it’s a question that didn’t get asked. Recycling organic matter back to the soil is supposed to be a long term, environmentally prudent, carbon sequestration practice — right?  Glowingly green.  Halo worthy.  Self-righteously gratifying. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one’s viewpoint, folks are beginning to question all […]


Can I compost cooking oil and grease?

Can I compost cooking oil and grease? Is it possible to compost cooking oil and grease? A lot of cooking fat, oil, and grease (FOG) goes down the kitchen drain.  Commercial kitchens install grease traps to collect the mess before it enters public sewer systems, diverting this waste to alternate disposal. But the typical home […]

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Don’t burn or bury compostables

Is it really a good idea to make compostable waste go away and never come back?  Each year, taxpayers collectively spend millions of dollars to burn or bury compostables.  Much like a tribe of ubiquitous Gollums, they just want garbage — the biodegradable and putrefying fraction of the municipal solid waste stream – to go away and never […]


How to make compost fast

How to make compost fast The desire to make compost fast can be driven by space restrictions, the need for more product, or simple impatience.   It’s a common goal for composters everywhere, from the backyard to industrial facilities. Unfortunately, wishing will never make it so.  The speediest course from raw feedstock to finished quality compost is […]