ICAW 2023: Composting at Home with Tania Althoff

For today’s ICAW post we are pleased to share a Q&A about home composting with Tania Althoff who is a Project Manager in the Office of Capital Projects at the University.

Read more about Tania’s journey to composting, her process, and advice to those looking to start:

Why were you interested in starting to compost?

I like to make plant-based meals and salads with different fruits and vegetables, and I realized how much food waste I was throwing in the trash. I wanted to “recycle” these food scraps to make something useful for my garden and yard. Also, I joined an organic community garden this year and this opportunity became a great motivator for starting my own system!

Tell us about your composting system

I have a dual chamber tumbler that sits outside. I turn it occasionally to aerate it and add water to keep it moist. Also, I use a metal bin to collect scraps in the kitchen. I’ve been collecting all plant scraps like pepper stems, potato peels, broccoli or kale stalks, etc. and also egg shells, coffee grounds, newspaper, and leaves. Having just started the system recently, it’s still “brewing” so I don’t have usable compost just yet. It’s a slow process but I’m hopeful I’ll have compost for use later in the growing season!

Any advice for others looking to start composting at home?

Just do your research! There’s so much information out there about how to get started composting at any scale, as well as the different types of home composting options available. Make sure to learn about the balance of nitrogen and carbon that’s required for any system. Good luck!

Thanks Tania!

Don’t forget to visit our Resources pages to learn more about composting basics and find a home composting system suitable for you. For more inspiration, revisit last year’s home composting Q&A with Ted Borer

Tune in for one more post tomorrow for a project update on our DEP grant