Organic Compost Maker for Home Composting

SoilmateOrganica home composting
soilmate
The importance of making composting at home has grown in public consciousness in recent years, due to rising awareness about the importance of solid waste management. Composting helps turn your food scraps and yard waste into nutrient & microbe rich gold for your garden soils. Microbes play an important role in a superior home composting process.

Benefits

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Organic compost maker
SoilMate contains a diverse array of rapidly acting bacteria that decompose a variety of organic waste to form compost. A major pain point in the process of composting is the emission of foul odour. SoilMate’s novel Odour Busting Technology suppresses foul odour. The high organic content in compost piles often attracts unwanted pathogens and pesky maggots. SoilMate competitively inhibits harmful bacteria & repels disease carrying flies and maggots, keeping your compost hygienic and disease free. SoilMate improves the nutrient content in the final compost and enriches the soil. SoilMate is a one stop solution for all your composting needs. Save our natural resources, save money and save the earth.
SoilMate contains consortium of rapidly acting bacteria that decompose variety of organic waste to form compost. A major pain point in the process of home composting is the emission of foul odour. SoilMate’s novel Odour Busting Technology suppresses foul odour and speeds up the composting process there by supporting solid waste management. The high organic content in home compost piles often attracts unwanted pathogens and pesky maggots. SoilMate competitively inhibits harmful bacteria & repels disease-carrying flies and maggots, keeping your compost hygienic and disease-free. SoilMate improves the nutrient content in the final compost and enriches the soil. SoilMate is a one-stop solution for all your composting needs. Save our natural resources, save money and save the earth and follow best solid waste management practice with SoilMate.
Organic compost maker
making compost at home

Benefits

1. Rapid organic waste degradation in aerobic composting process.
2. Curb noxious odours from your compost pile
3. Repels pathogens, flies and maggots helping your composting pile remain pest free and disease free
making compost at home

Benefits

1. Supports home composting and community composting by rapid organic waste degradation..
2. SoilMate compost maker powder contains facultative enzymes hence can be used for aerobic and anaerobic processes
3. Curb noxious odours from your compost pile.
4. SoilMate compost maker powder repels pathogens, flies and maggots helping your composting pile remain pest free and disease free and thereby supporting solid waste management.

What is Composting

In a natural environment, organic material is subjected to decomposition with help of insects, worms and microorganisms to breakdown into smaller material and returned back to earth in the form of nutrients. Composting is an accelerated decomposition of organic material in a controlled environment with the help of microorganisms and worms to obtain a nutrient rich compost at the end of decomposition with various application. It is a key tool that is used for better management of biodegradable waste in solid waste management.

Benefits of composting

Firstly, the composting process produces a nutrient rich end product containing humus that can be used as soil conditioner in agriculture, horticulture, and gardening improving the organic content of the soil thus, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers. It improves moisture retaining capacity of the soil preventing soil erosion due to rainfall. Composting reduces the load on local municipal bodies to transport and decompose organic material in already exhausted dumping grounds and helps in building a much more efficient solid waste management system. Composting completes the natural cycle where the organic material (that is generated from the earth), eventually returns back to earth in accelerated conditions, as is naturally intended.

What is the role of microbes in composting

Microbes are the ultimate mediators of biodegradable solid waste management on the planet. Their diversity makes them suitable for decomposing all types of organic waste. The composting process relies mainly on diverse group of microorganisms that decompose organic materials such as kitchen waste, farm waste, garden waste, animal waste, dead animals and plants. The microbes produce a wide range of enzymes that break down organic material and convert it to nutrient rich humus, carbon dioxide, water and heat. The humus thus produced is an excellent additive to the top soil and helps boost its fertility.

Microorganisms involved in composting

In the process of composting two classes of microorganisms contribute. First set of microorganisms that grow between 20 to 35ºC is called mesophiles. Mesophiles perform the initial degradation and perform curing of compost in final phase of the process. The mesophilic microbes grow and reproduce rapidly producing heat during initial whereas during final phase of composting they help in maturation of degraded organic material. Between the initial and final composting phase, there is an increase in core temperature of the composting mixture known as thermophilic phase where temperature can rise up to 55 to 70ºC. This is caused due to rapid heat production in the initial phase of composting .Thermophiles can grow at such high temperatures and help in break down complex organic material. The high temperature helps in killing of pathogens and weeds. Having the microbial ecosystem is key to ensuring composting is an efficient solid waste management process.

Aerobic and anaerobic composting

Both techniques of composting have their pros and cons when it comes to organic solid waste management. Some key differences are as follows:

The aerobic process of composting utilizes microbes which require oxygen and aerated systems for composting. The aerobic conditions can be maintained via variety of mechanism like turning the pile or organic material, adding vented pipes in the pile. The hardware required can range from simple bins to automated machinery.

Anaerobic system includes the use of anaerobic microbes and anaerobic conditions. The organic material added with anaerobic microorganisms are transferred in a pit and covered on top. The material is allowed to decompose anaerobically by microbes over long period of time, without any mixing. This technique does not require any additional infrastructure and manual intervention.

Conditions required for ideal composting

The parameters that favor the growth of microorganisms and help degrade the organic material are required for ideal composting. Some of these parameters include:

a) Particle size: A particle size of 2 to 5 cm provides a larger surface area for microbe and substrate interaction causing faster degradation of the material.

b) Moisture: Moisture content is an important factor that dictates microbial growth. Less moisture content slows down microbial growth whereas high moisture content creates anaerobic environment with the growth of undesirable microbes and generation of noxious odour.

c) Aeration: well aerated composting system helps in faster degradation of complex organic molecules ,

d) C:N ratio: an optimum balance between carbon and nitrogen availability is essential for good microbial growth and proper degradation of organic material.

Curing period in Composting

A curing period is the final stage in composting also known as maturation period where the composted material is stored in slightly moist condition for a long duration of time. Curing occurs at mesophilic temperature as there is no heat production due to microbial activity. Uncured compost can have phytotoxins present in it and can be harmful when applied to plants while presence of high organic acid content could reduce the oxygen and nitrogen from soil. A composting process for more efficient solid waste management must take into consideration the curing time for compost, as it requires both space and time to cure.

What is C: N ratio in composting?

C:N ratio is described as carbon to nitrogen ratio. It is the ratio of mass of carbon to mass of nitrogen in any substance. Microbes require carbon, nitrogen, potassium, sulfur and other elements for their growth, maintenance and reproduction. For every 8 units of carbon consumed by microbe it requires 1 unit of nitrogen. The some carbon used by microbe is used as energy source and some is lost as CO2 during respiration. Hence microbes require an optimal amount of available carbon and nitrogen ratio to perform their metabolic functions. An ideal C:N for microbes is found to be 24:1.

If the C: N ratio is higher, microbes will not have enough nitrogen to consume all the carbon, resulting in incomplete decomposition whereas a lesser C: N ratio will cause rapid utilization of carbon generating ammonia from the excessive nitrogen in the system.

How do I choose the right compost maker for my home composting process?

Any compost maker powder worth its salt must contain a mixture of mesophilic and thermophilic high enzyme producing facultative microbes. One must note that, with even the best compost maker, it is still important to perfect your composting method as well.

Why does my compost stink like rotten eggs?

A rotting egg smell is an indicator of a failing composting process. Due to high moisture in the composting mixture, it cuts off the oxygen making the system anaerobic (depleted of oxygen). Aerobic composting microbes require oxygen to carry out the composting process properly.

A completely depleted oxygen environment causes certain bacteria to produce hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas in the system. H2S gas has a typical odor of rotten eggs. Your compost will not undergo the thermophilic phase of composting in this state. You can correct this by adding more dry waste like dead leaves, coconut husk etc. to reduce the moisture and aerate the mixture well.

While making compost, a smelly brow liquid keeps oozing out of my compost bin. What is it?

During the process of making compost, the waste is broken down into humus, carbon dioxide and water. The water released during the process mixes with high concentration of nutrients produced during the process and carries it to the bottom of the bin. This brown liquid is known as leachate or ‘compost tea’ and it can be used as fertilizer in diluted form. It is important that the leachate is let out during the composting process. If this does not happen, it could cause the composting mixture to turn anaerobic.

Why does my compost bin turn hot while making compost?

This is a positive sign of a good composting process. In the initial phase of composting there is rapid microbial growth and reproduction of the mesophilic bacteria. This microbial activity leads to rise in temperature where the temperature can reach from 55 to 70ºC. and also heating your compost bin in process. This indicates an ideal composting process where mesophilic phase is followed by thermophilic phase.

Can I try home composting in a simple bin? What are the different types of systems available for composting?

Depending on the type and volume of waste you generate at home, there are various systems available for composting. Even a simple bin can be used for composting but it should allow the turning of pile and circulation of air. Some of the composting systems include:

a) In-Vessel composting: Waste material and compost maker is added to a covered bin facilitated with a proper aeration or mixing system.

b) Bokashi composting: It is an anaerobic home composting process where the waste and compost maker is added to the bin and allowed to pickle anaerobically for two weeks and then buried in earth for further degradation.

c) Vermicomposting: This composting process uses earthworm and microorganisms to convert organic waste into compost. It is highly sensitive process where change in temperature, pH, or moisture can affect the composting process.

How do I control flies and worms in my composting mixture while making compost at home?

Kitchen waste in any home composting system naturally attract flies and other insects, so it requires added effort to control continuous emergence of flies from the system. Make sure the system is enclosed as an open system attracts the flies to lay eggs. Organic waste naturally contains eggs laid by worms and insects naturally associated with food waste. Ensure ideal condition are maintained while making compost, as increased temperature of the system during the thermophilic phase kills the eggs and larvae. Turning the pile at regular intervals aids the destruction of eggs and larvae.

Why is my compost bin not heating up while making compost?

There can be multiple reasons that your bin is not hot. The waste may contain high amount of moisture due which the heat produced due to microbial activity is reduced. A smaller pile of waste material inside your bin can cause easy heat exchange between waste and air not allowing the rise of temperature. It may also be because your home composting mixture does not have enough green matter, making it difficult for the microbes to degrade the waste owing to a sub-optimal C:N ratio. The thermophilic phase starts after 3 to 4 days of initiating the home composting process and continues for a week to 10 days. You can experience reduced temperature when you observe the bin prior to or post thermophilic phase.

My waste mixture has too wet and sticky while home composting. What do I do?

Moisture content of the compost mix is a crucial factor while making compost at home. It is essential to maintain moisture content to 50 – 60 % to achieve good composting conditions. High moisture during home composting can lead to anaerobic condition inside the bin. To counter the issue of high moisture organic material with high moisture absorbing capacity such as cocopeat, sawdust, chopped cardboard pieces etc. can be added to the bin that will help in proper distribution of moisture.

My compost mix in my home composting set up is too dry. What do I do?

A dry compost mix can lead to reduced microbial activity as microbes prefer a moist yet aerated for their growth. To compensate for dryness, you can slowly add water or green waste to the compost mix until a balance is struck. You can use hand pressing process to understand moisture content of compost mix. Hold the compost mix in your hand and press it. Make sure that the material sticks to each other but there is no water seepage upon pressing or the mix doesn’t separates when you open your palm. Moisture is the most critical component while home composting, so regular monitoring is important.

Is it necessary to overturn my compost mix during the home composting process everyday?

No, it is not necessary to overturn your compost mix every day. The composting process produces heat due to microbial activity that breaks complex organic material, kills pathogens and destroys harmful weed. Overturning of compost mix everyday will lead to the heat loss and also requires manual labour. Turning after every 3 to 4 days will serve the purpose of agitation and aeration in a home composting process.

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Resources

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Home Composting pdf- SoilMate

Large amount of waste generation is a major threat to environment. Solid waste
composting is a great way to support waste management. Enhance the productivity
of composting with Organica Biotech’s Bioclean Compost. Download compost pdf.

FAQ'S

What are the advantages of using SoilMate Compost Maker powder?

SoilMate is a multi-strain microbial culture for speedy composting of kitchen & garden waste. In addition it is infused with activated carbon for controlling odour and enriched with herbs to keep flies at bay.

What are the various types of waste that can be degraded with the help of SoilMate Compost maker?

SoilMate can treat all kinds of kitchen, Garden & Agricultural waste. It can be used for making compost at home and community composting.

Can I use SoilMate for Home Composting?

SoilMate Compost maker has been specifically designed for meeting the requirement for making compost at home here.

Does Home composting need a lot of space?

Home composting at an individual household level needs very minimal space. There are compact home composting bins that are available in the market which have minimal space requirements.

Is making compost a difficult process?

Making compost at home or at communities is a very simple process, simple steps need to be followed to effectively degrade all the waste that we generate daily.

Is SoilMate Compost maker compatible with different equipment for Home Composting?

Home composting can be carried out by using different kinds of equipment that are available in the market. SoilMate is designed to meet the requirements for all equipment’s meant for Home Composting.

Can SoilMate be used for making compost using anaerobic process?

SoilMate is consortium of microbes that also contains Facultative microbes which work in both aerobic and anaerobic process, for making compost at home it is preferable to choose aerobic composting process.

What is the recommended Dosage for SoilMate Compost Maker?

SoilMate Compost maker comes in 1 kg packets which is good to treat up to 1 tonne of solid waste.

Can this product be used for various Solid waste management techniques?

Solid waste management comprises of multiple techniques to degrade waste, equipment like automatic machines, OWC machines or manual composting methods can be used. The choice of an ideal Solid waste management technique will depend on your waste generation and requirements. It is important that the right solid waste management technique is adopted for optimum results.

Can SoilMate compost maker prevent maggots from growing in home composting?

Appearance of maggots in a home composting process is not a pleasing view. The SoilMate compost maker has the ability to repel insects and therefore helps in controlling the growth of maggots.

Will the addition of soilmate to vermicomposting help in making compost faster?

Vermicomposting and microbial composting are two separate process of making compost. Vermicomposting is carried out by earthworms that feed on complex organic matter and excrete out simple organic matter which enriches this soil. Our specially selected enzyme producing microbes accelerate the further degradation of this relatively simple organic matter in bioavailable form for plants to use. So to answer your question, SoilMate may not have a direct impact on the first stage of the vermicomposting process, but it will prove very useful in accelerating the second part of the process I.e. enriching your compost by increasing the bioavailable nutrients.

What are the common mistakes people make while making compost at home?

Few of the common mistakes people do while home composting are:

  1. Moisture content is not maintained
  2.  Brown waste (dried leaves / grass etc.) is not added enough
  3. Not adding enough compost microbes powder.
  4. Addition of animal and fish bones to the bin
  5. Opening the cover of the bin too often, for addition of even small waste.
  6. Addition of foul smelling rotten leftovers to the bin
  7.  Not giving enough for the process of making compost to naturally complete.

Can SoilMate compost maker be used for windrow composting of agricultural waste?

The Soilmate compost maker can be used for windrow composting but we have a specialized product Bioclean compost that is specially designed for making compost of agricultural waste.

How should one monitor their home composting process?

Odour, moisture and temperature are the three most important parameters while monitoring home composting process.

How often should one add fresh waste to their home composting bin/ pile/ pit?

It is not advisable to disturb the bin too often while making compost. Addition of fresh waste once or maximum twice a day is recommended in a home composting process. Refrain from mixing the compost with bare hands. Use a tool for even mixing of compost.

How can moisture content of waste be checked before addition to the bin while making compost at home?

Moisture content can be estimated by a simple hand squeeze test while making compost at home as it does not require any instrument. Wear a glove, take the solid fraction of the sample in your palm and press it, dont overdo it.

If the solid fraction doesn’t stick together or is dusty the moisture is low.

If the material releases drops of water on pressing the moisture content is high. The material must stick together and feel moist to achieve ideal moisture content.

How does one control the moisture content while making compost in a home composting process?

Controlling the moisture is very crucial step while making compost. If the waste added to the bin is too dry, spray water to add moisture. If the waste looks too wet add brown material like cocopeat, sawdust, dry leaves etc. that can soak the moisture.

What is the appropriate moisture content range for making compost of good quality?

For making compost the ideal moisture content lies between 40 – 55%. If the moisture level is below 35%, the bacterial activity may be hindered and if it rises above 60% there are chances of system turning into anaerobic and give off a rotting odour.

Can Soilmate compost maker control the foul odour usually observed in home composting?

Yes, following the right composting technique along with SoilMate compost maker can help in reducing the foul odour in your composting process.

What are the attributes of an ideal compost maker for making compost at home?

A compost maker or compost microbes powder is a consortium of effective microorganisms specially selected for their ability to accelerate the degradation of organic waste. Kitchen waste at our home contains different kinds of organic matter such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats etc. Hence while home composting, it is necessary to choose a compost maker containing diverse microflora that is able to degrade all kinds of organic waste effectively, giving you nutrient rich final compost.

How does one know if the C: N ratio is maintained properly in a home composting process?

Proper degradation of waste material, reduction in volume of waste minus the emanation of ammonia-like or rotten egg like odours is the easiest way to understand if you have maintained proper C: N ratio for your home composting.

What is the reason for foul smelling while making compost?

Most of the time the foul odour coming from the composting bin is due to occurrence of anaerobic conditions inside the bin, low C: N ratio of the waste can also lead to release of ammonia like smell from your home composting bin.

How does the C: N ratio affect the process of making compost?

If the C: N ratio is high, the degradation process will slow down due to nitrogen deficiency. In a low C: N ratio the microbes will not proliferate due to lack of carbon which in turn affects process of making compost, encourages bad odour and causes incomplete degradation of waste.

How does one accelerate the process of making compost from garden waste mostly containing dry leaves as waste material?

The dry leaves are high in carbon content, containing material like lignin that takes longer duration for degradation. Addition of a compost maker and nitrogen containing material like kitchen waste, urea etc. can accelerate the composting of garden waste.

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