If you do a lot of composting around your home, you might not be aware that you are exposing yourself to certain dangers. While composting is very good for the environment there are some dangers that homeowners must be aware of. However, these can be avoided by following a few simple steps to keep yourself safe.
Read As Much As You Can
The best way to educate yourself on the dangers of composting is to do a little reading to make yourself familiar with the concepts and proper techniques of composting. By broadening your knowledge with as much information as possible before you begin composting, you will ensure that you are learning the correct methods and techniques of how to do it the right way. This will keep you, your family and your property from being exposed to anything that is harmful to your health and safety.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
After any composting activity, you must always wash your hands. This may seem obvious, but many homeowners sometimes get absorbed with their activities and forget to wash up afterwards, which can cause the risk of poisoning. Even if you wash your hands, all family members who assist you should be encouraged to do the same so that they are aware of the dangers of composting chemicals. You should also obtain a closed lid for the composting heap to contain chemical fuels.
Inspect Your Compost Frequently
Inspecting your compost frequently will ensure that there are no weeds growing there or small critters trying to inhabit the compost pile. You do not want your compost pile to become a breeding ground for animals such as foxes that may be dangerous. An active compost is actually quite dynamic, rather than a dull pile of manure, so ensure that it doesn’t attract the interest of any unwelcome critters.
Let Friends And Family Know About Your Composting Activities
Getting your family and friends involved in your composting activities is a great way to make them more environmentally conscious and help them to understand what you are doing. It will also help them to become aware of the tools and objects that you use in the backyard (if that is where you have your compost heap), which will help them to stay safe whenever they are in the area.
Keep Your Compost Aerated
One of the biggest dangers in composting is when your compost heap loses air. This can cause it to become poisonous to the soil. To avoid this, ensure that you use a closed bin and that there is plenty of air continuously circulating around the compost heap. This aeration process help to enhance the composting process and prevents organic materials from turning into an poisonous materials.
Familiarize Yourself With The Machinery
For industrial scale composting, special machinery is often used. If you are composting on a larger scale that requires the use of machinery, you must exercise caution when using it. Make sure that you are familiar with all the controls and commands and that you know how to handle it safely. You should be prepared to deal with worst-case scenarios and you must know the appropriate troubleshooting techniques for your equipment. Dealing with a compost heap on a larger scale can be quite dangerous, so ensure that you and the people who will be working with you on the industrial composting process are familiar with what to do.
Common Composting Problems
There are five common problems that generally arise when you are composting. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to troubleshoot safely. When monitoring the compost pile, look out for any signs of problems and if they occur try some of the solutions suggested below.
1. Too Many Flies
If you notice a swarm of flies around the compost bin this could mean that you have not put enough brown materials, such as leaves and twigs, on top of the food scraps. These food scraps are very inviting to flies, so ensure that you don’t leave them exposed.
2. Your Compost Has A Bad Smell
This could be due to the fact that there is not enough air circulating throughout the compost pile. Carefully turn over the compost and add a few bulky substances such as woodchips or sawdust. This can help to create pockets to allow the air to move freely.
3. Your Compost Pile Is Too Dry
If your compost pile is too dry, add a bit of water to moisten it. Do not soak the pile, just add enough water to wet it a bit. If the pile keeps drying out, look for some other reasons why, such as the location of the pile and the materials you are adding. You might need to move the compost bin to a more shady location or add some wet scraps to keep it moist.
4. The Compost Pile Only Works In Certain Spots
If the pile only seems to work in certain spots, it could be that it is not large enough or you are not rotating it enough. Ensure that you are consistently adding new scraps and that the pile is rotated every second day.
5. Unwanted Pests
Do not add any animal materials to the compost such as meat or bones. This will keep unwanted pests from interfering with the pile.