Decide which method is best for you

Once you know where you’ll process your compost, you can determine the best composting method to suit your needs and lifestyle.

The most common is open-air composting, which is just what it sounds like: creating a pile with food scraps and other biodegradable matter that is regularly turned or rotated. Direct compost is similar except that instead of a specific pile, biodegradable materials gets added directly to the ground (either around plants or trees or put into holes); in this method, it’s recommended only fruit and vegetable scraps be used (no meat or dairy products) so animals are less likely to dig into it. Fences are also highly recommended if you have dogs or other animals regularly in the yard.

Some other methods of composting involve vermicompost (which involves worms), tiered compost, the utilization of black soldier fly larvae, and compost tumblers that can be spun every time food or yard waste is added. For those who are composting indoors, vermicompost and Effective Microorganisms—a mixture of microbes that will help break down your organic matter—composting are both popular options. Adding bokashi, a type of fermented organic matter, to your food waste is the most common system using EMs.