Springtime Composting

Happy May BARC friends! We are focusing on composting this month! We wanted to feature some amazing local businesses around Northern Michigan and talk about our compostable serviceware and composting services. It’s time to make a change and start composting!

How do I start a compost pile?

BARC wants to help you make small changes that better the environment. Here are some steps you can take to start your own compost at home!

  1. Find a spot in your yard or garden to create a compost pile
  2. Start your pile with a base layer of sticks or straw to create drainage
  3. Add layers of waste – alternating between brown and green materials
  4. Increase the Nitrogen to start decomposition – Nitrogen fertilizer is perfect for this!
  5. Keep your pile moist – not too wet where it is dripping, but wet enough where you can feel the water
  6. Turn the pile every couple weeks so the compost can aerate
  7. When the compost is ready to use, the temperature of the pile will decrease and will look like a dark soil


Are there other ways I can compost besides starting a pile?

In addition to starting piles of compost in your backyard, there are definitely other ways to compost! On LawnStarter, they have an awesome article all about composting and the different variations you can use to get started! Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. “Composting bins are either open or enclosed bins that contain everything. Open bins are a partial structure allowing for ventilation and aeration while keeping materials confined. One side is easily accessible to add materials and turn the pile. Enclosed bins completely enclose the process via a lid and eliminate both the sight of a compost pile and the smell.”
  2. “Tumblers are a unique, efficient type of enclosed compost bin. Cylindrical in nature, a tumbler has hand-held insets or a handle that allows it to be “turned” or tumbled easily.”
  3. “Vermicompostingor worm composting, is a variation of composting that relies heavily on a type of worms called red wigglers to break down the materials. It is often done in a specialized worm bin and focuses mainly on compostable kitchen waste.”

What can/cannot be composted?

You CAN Compost:

  • Anything Organic (plant or animal based)
  • All Food Waste (including meat, fish, poultry and dairy, even bones)
  • Meat above 5% must be segregated into its own bag for separate downstream composting apart from general food waste.
  • Food Scraps (fruit, veggies, bread, eggshells, coffee filters & grounds)
  • Uncoated Paper (soiled paper, paper towels, waxed paper, pizza boxes, paper plates)
  • Yard Waste (grass clippings, leaves, brush, pumpkins, Christmas trees, weeds)
  • Compostable Serviceware (utensils, plates, cups, etc. made from 100% plant based plastic)

You CANNOT Compost:

  • Plastic (including plastic lined paper cartons)
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Raw Meat
  • Medical waste/medication
  • Bathroom waste/personal hygiene products
  • Pet waste

How is BARC involved with composting?

Composting Services

BARC supplies composting bins for you to collect your compost and will schedule times with you to pickup during the week. While we currently have a waiting list for composting services, you can still sign up on our Composting page to save your spot!

Compostable Serviceware

BARC offers compostable serviceware on our website for purchase! From cups, utensils, plates, bowls, napkins, etc., you can plan the perfect Zero-Waste Event, supply your business or restaurant with compostable products, or order them for your home! These products are perfect for carry-out items from restaurants, packed lunches from home, or supplies in an office for employee lunches! Purchase your serviceware today!

Featured businesses & non profits that support BARC

These businesses work closely with BARC and use our composting services and/or order our compostable serviceware! We are so thankful for our local businesses for taking steps to make our community a GREENER place to live! Check out their websites on how they support out community and how you can support these amazing businesses!

Oryana Community Co-Op

Edson Farms Natural Foods

Munson Medical Center

The Little Fleet

Farm Club


MRC & Compost Council


Other Resources – Krull’s Composting