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Compost Application Guide

New Lawns
Incorporate 2 to 4 inches of our compost evenly into the top 6 inches of soil. Sow the seeds of your choice.

Established Lawns
Evenly spread 1/4 to 1/2 inch of our compost across the top of the lawn and work in with the back of a yard rake. Water immediately.

Roses and Shrubs
Dig hole 2 to 3 times bigger than the root ball of the trees and mix our compost with this soil 50/50. Work some of this mixture into the bottom of the hole and backfill around the roots with the rest. Tap lightly without compacting before soaking with water.

Trees
Dig a hole 3 to 4 times bigger than the root ball of the trees and mix our compost with this soil 50/50. Work some of this mixture into the bottom of the hole and backfill around the roots with the rest. Tap lightly without compacting before soaking with water.

Potting and Window Boxes
Thoroughly mix compost, sand and neutralized peat equally to form the basic mixture to fill boxes or pots.

Flowers and Vegetable Gardens
Incorporate 2 to 3 inches of our compost evenly into the top 6 inches of soil. Plant either seeds or container plants into the amended layer. Our compost can be used as mulch on top of existing pots or window boxes.

Backyard Compost Starter
Mix 2 to 4 cups of our compost into composting bin on a regular basis. The compost will inoculate the waste with a rich helping of the microorganisms that degrade organic materials.

New Fruit Trees, Wineries, Roses and Shrubs
Dig a hole 2 to 3 times bigger than the root ball of the trees and mix compost up to 50% with soil. Work some of this mixture into the bottom of the hole and fill the hole half full of water. Then put root ball into it and backfill around the roots. Tap lightly without compacting before soaking with more water.

Follow that Compost

Here is what happens to compostables after they're collected in San Francisco, one of the many municipalities that Recology helps bring closer to Zero Waste.

follow that compost

Image above: "Follow That Compost," San Francisco Magazine, April 2013

Where does our compost come from?

Composting is the process of managing the natural decomposition of organic material. It involves moisture, oxygen, bacteria, and of course, organic matter... but where does that last ingredient come from? You might be surprised that what most people view simply as waste, Recology sees as a valuable resource. The materials we transform into compost, or our feedstock, are food scraps and yard trimmings collected from California and Oregon cities.

The materials we collect decompose because they are continuously eaten and recycled by millions of organisms, like earthworms, insects, and micro-organisms that turn the material into a valuable soil amendment. On a small scale, composting involves mixing food scraps and yard trimmings in a small kitchen or backyard container. On a large scale, it involves environmentally friendly processes at our composting facilities that accelerate decomposition of organic materials and help nature to create compost that supports healthy root systems and improves soil structure.

How Much Recology Compost Do I Need?

Figure out how much compost you need by following these simple steps:

  1. Determine the depth of the layer you'll be applying.
  2. Use the following charts to estimate the cubic yards of compost required to cover 1,000 square feet or one acre, OR
  3. Use the formula below to determine the cubic yards of compost required to cover a more specific area

 

Cubic Yards of Recology Compost Required to Cover 1,000 Square Feet

¼-inch layer approximately 0.75 cubic yards
½-inch layer approximately 1.5 cubic yards
1-inch layer approximately 3.0 cubic yards
1.5-inch layer approximately 4.5 cubic yards
2 inch layer approximately 6.0 cubic yards
2.5 inch layer approximately 7.5 cubic yards
3-inch layer approximately 9.0 cubic yards

 

Cubic Yards of Recology Compost Required to Cover One Acre

¼-inch layer approximately 34 cubic yards
½-inch layer approximately 67 cubic yards
1-inch layer approximately 134 cubic yards
1.5-inch layer approximately 201 cubic yards
2-inch layer approximately 269 cubic yards
2.5-inch layer approximately 335 cubic yards
3-inch layer approximately 402 cubic yards

 

Cubic Yards of Recology Compost Required to Cover a Specific Area

Formula:
Specific area to cover (expressed as square feet) x amount of compost to apply (expressed as depth in inches) x 0.0031 = equals cubic yards of compost to cover a specific area.
( _______ ft2 x ________ inches of compost x 0.0031 = _______ yd3)


Example:
We are interested in determining the amount of Recology Compost necessary to cover 5,000 ft2 with a one-half inch layer of compost.
( 5,000 ft2 x 0.5 inches of depth x 0.0031 = 7.75 yd3)

 (adapted from "Compost Use Estimator" in The US Composting Council's Field Guide to Compost Use)

Video: America's Greenest City

Watch this video to learn more about how Recology's services, including composting, are helping San Francisco become the Greenest City in America.

Compost Information Library

Agronomist bob shaffer explains the benefits of using food waste compost to create organically-rich humus

Recology consultant, agronomist Bob Shaffer, knows that composting is our best way to reintroduce organic matter to spent soils and and encourage healthy microbial activity. Experts agree that composting and applying compost is not only good for the environment, but also good for your growing operation.

 

Want to learn more from the experts?

Click the links below to read from our Compost Information Library.

"Soil Fertility and Fertilization" by consultant Neal Kinsey; published in the national journal of sustainable agriculture, Acres U.S.A.

"USCC Factsheet: Compost and Its Benefits" published by the US Composting Council

"Organic Compost Seems to Promise Better Grapes" published in the American Wine Society Journal

 

See Recology in the News:

"Earth to Earth: San Francisco Food Makes Good Compost" by Michelle Locke, Associated Press

"Compost on the Menu" by Mike Lee, The Sacramento Bee

"Turning Table Scraps into Fine Wine" by Jeanne Lightly, The Napa Valley Register

"Wineries Love City's Compost Program" by Adrienne Sanders, The Examiner

 

 

Compost


About Recology Compost

Compost can make all the difference in your growing needs. Adding compost to your agricultural crops, nursery stock, home garden or landscape not only helps generate healthier soil and plants, it also increases microbial activity while returning nutrients to the earth.

At Recology, we make it possible for the communities we serve to reduce, reuse, recycle, and Recologize™! To Recologize is to make the best and highest use of all resources we manufacture, consure, recover and remanufactureAs pioneers in resource recovery, we find ways to do more with such resources as food scraps and yard trimmings by producing compost to help return nutrients to the soil.  No longer are these materials landfill-bound. Instead, the Recology compost developed becomes a nutrient-rich soil amendment that contributes to increased crop yields and improves the overall health of plants.

Each of our Recology composting facilities is permitted and operated in compliance with state regulations and EPA standards.  Recology compost products are manufactured to the highest standards of the U.S. Composting Council Seal of Testing Assurance program (STA), assuring that no pesky seeds, weeds, or pathogens contaminate our final product.

Most Recology composting facilities also provide Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) listed materials. Our decision to use this listing agency is in response to the needs of local growers who are producing their crops using organic and sustainable practices. These growers enjoy using Recology compost and apply the product with added confidence based on the OMRI listing. To learn more about the OMRI certification criteria, click on the logos below.

USCC STA Logo         OMRI Logo

As the legendary social commentator and humorist Will Rogers once said, “They’re making more people every day - but they ain’t making any more dirt.” Some farming methods today are degrading soils so it is important that we reintroduce nutrients and organic matter back to the land where it originated.

Make the sustainable choice to apply Recology compost today.  Feeding the earth well is good for us today and into the future. 


Top 10 Benefits to using Recology Compost: greenbin

  1. Recology compost is a good alternative to chemical fertilizers because compost doesn't pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
  2. Recology compost keeps organic materials out of landfills, which reduces methane gas emissions.
  3. Recology compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil, especially when used to grow cover crops like mustard or beans.
  4. Recology compost promotes healthy microbial activity in the soil, providing micronutrients to plant roots and discouraging soil diseases.
  5. Recology compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
  6. Recology compost aids water retention and the conservation of this precious resource when applied to soil.
  7. Recology compost helps grow plants rich with nutrients that promote good health.
  8. Recology compost creates green jobs to support communities and the economy.
  9. Recology compost is great for the environment.
  10. Recology compost returns returns food scraps in its original form as desirable fruits, vegetables, and fine wines.  Bon appetite!

 


 

Locate your nearest Recology Compost facility now to learn more about products offered near you and to place an order.

Learn more about Recology Compost:

Follow that Compost! From Plate to Field and Back Again
How Much Recology Compost Do I Need?
Recology Compost Wastes Zero
Video: America's Greenest City
Compost Information Library
Compost Application Guide