Master Composter Course Teaches Composting Basics

Composting is an easy, cost-efficient method of reusing yard waste make “black gold” to improve your lawn and landscape while saving money.

Yard waste makes up an average of 20 percent of the waste stream. During the summer and fall months, that can rise to as much as 50 percent in some areas. There are many advantages to handling your yard waste at home for your landscape and the environment. Composting is a good way to reduce the collection, disposal and handling of yard waste off-site.

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic waste under controlled conditions to produce a beneficial soil amendment also called “black gold” by its supporters.

There are many benefits to composting:

  • Increases organic matter in the soil
  • Builds sound root structure
  • Improves soil structure
  • Attracts earthworms
  • Balances the pH of the soil
  • Helps reduce soil erosion
  • Reduces reliance on commercial fertilizers
  • Reduces need by plants for water

There are four necessary components of the compost process. You need organic materials from your yard such as leaves, grass, small trimmings from shrubs. You also need air, water and microorganisms. These organisms are naturally occurring and do not need to be added. They will find your compost pile and love it.

Finished compost is a valuable material for your yard. Compost contains nutrients that can be slowly released back into the soil and absorbed by the plant. It can be used as a top dressing for the lawn, mixed with garden soil for planting. You can even make compost tea to water indoor house plants.

Michigan State University Extension is offering the six-week Master Composter Course through the Macomb MSU Extension office at 22815 Dunham Rd., Clinton Township, MI 48036 on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9 P.M. beginning October 3 through November 14.

This course covers the basics of composting, soil chemistry, compost equipment, yard waste reduction, large scale composting and worm composting complete with assistance in making your own worm bin. The cost for the program is $50 which includes the course notebook, speakers, refreshments and Awards Dinner.

Online registration is at

For more information about the course or registration assistance, call 586-469-6440 or email Meghan Cassidy at

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