Waste Management
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Composting Glossary

A

Aerate

To introduce air into the soil by punching holes into the earth.

B

Biocell

A reinforced concrete box with a 60 cubic metre capacity used for mass composting.

Browns

Organic material that is high in carbon. (Materials high in nitrogen are referred to as "greens")

C

Carbon

A basic element for every living being. Carbon makes up sugar molecules, which are broken down by the cells to create energy. Organic materials high in carbon are referred to as "browns".

Clippings

The blades of grass severed during mowing.

Compost

Completely decayed organic matter. Dark, odourless, and rich in nutrients, it's used to provide nutrients to soil.

Composter

A bin that stores organic materials (grass clippings, leaves, vegetable and fruit peelings) to make compost.

crown rot

A fungal disease caused by excess water around the base of a plant.

Contaminant

Useless material in compost such as glass, plastic, stones and toxic compounds.

Curing

The last stage of composting that happens after much of the metabolized material has been decomposed.

cured compost

Compost that has gone through the curing stage.

D

Decompose

To decay or rot; the breaking down of organic materials into smaller particles.

E

Erosion

The deletion of soil by wind, water or human activity.

G

Grasscycling

Leaving clippings on the lawn after mowing to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

Greens

Organic materials high in nitrogen. (Composting materials high in carbon are referred to as "browns")

H

Humus

The organic part of soil, formed by the decomposition of plants and leaves by soil bacteria.

K

Kitchen waste

Food waste such as eggshells, bones, and coffee grounds.

L

Landfill

A cavity in the ground filled with waste. When full it can be covered up to look like part of the landscape.

M

Metabolize

The process of breaking down substances in cells to get energy.

N

Nitrogen

A colorless, tasteless, odourless element that helps plants grow faster. Composting materials high in nitrogen are called "greens".

O

Organic

Anything - plant or animal - that is, or was, living, made from something living or expelled from something living.

P

Pallet unit

A type of composter made from wood pallets.

Pruning

Cutting and trimming plants to remove dead or damaged branches or to control and direct new growth.

R

Root ball

The system of roots in the attached soil of any plant.

Red wiggler worms

Small red worms used in vermicomposting.

Root zone

The part of the plant that is below the soil and the area around it.

Rototill

Using a rototiller to cultivate the soil.

Rototiller

A gasoline powered machine used to work the soil.

V

Vermicomposting

Using red wiggler worms to compost kitchen waste.

Y

Yard waste

Grass clippings, dead plants and leaves, weeds and brush.

Yield

The amount of plants or grass a lawn or garden produces.

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