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How to Compost

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WHAT IS COMPOSTING?
Composting is a naturally occurring process that breaks down plant waste such as leaves, grass, and non-woody plant material into useful compost or humus.

WHAT IS MULCHING?
If you have small amounts of yard waste you can incorporate this directly into the soil. This is called mulching. Bury yard waste (grass and/or leaves) at least six (6) to eight (8) inches below the soil surface. Avoid mulching with grass that has been chemically treated with pesticides or herbicides. These may harm your plants or you directly by being taken up in vegetables. A large amount of yard waste calls for the creation of a compost pile.

WHAT IS A COMPOST PILE?
First, what a compost pile is not! A compost pile is not a pile of leaves, grass and other vegetable material piled on the ground in the corner of your property and left to rot. Proper maintenance of a compost pile is required to prevent the harborage for rodents and other wild animals, and to prevent a smelly and unsightly nuisance to you and your neighbors.

Some basic requirements must be followed to ensure your compost pile does not become a nuisance, but healthy and odor free.

  • Elk Grove Village only allows grass, leaves, non-woody plant material, and chipped wood in compost piles. 
  • The depositing of garbage, food waste, pet waste, meat scraps, fat or grease or materials that may attract animals or pests to a compost pile or which may produce obnoxious odors is strictly prohibited.
  • A compost pile must be contained in some type of enclosure. Simple compost containers can be constructed of galvanized wire fencing or snow fence, boards, bricks, or cement blocks. It is critical that compost structures have adequate openings to allow sufficient air flow. A compost pile should be at least three (3) to five (5) feet high. You may also purchase a commercially constructed container.
  • Compost piles shall not be more than five (5) feet in height, and not have a maximum ground or base area of more than one hundred (100) square feet.
  • Compostable material must be placed in such a way that the material will not become windblown.
  • Compost piles shall only be permitted in rear yards, except that portion of the rear yard wherein a drainage easement exists, and in no case shall a compost pile be located in any front or side yard. 

                    ANYONE CAN COMPOST IF YOU FOLLOW THE PROPER PROCEDURES. 
                        REMEMBER A HEALTHY COMPOST PILE IS PEST AND ODOR FREE.