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Composting in the Winter | Sioux Falls Garbage Company

Even though your garden may be covered with a thick layer of snow, your compost is still active during winter.

Composting in the Winter

Although it requires some extra work and preparation, composting in the winter should be kept up to maximize the nutrients and richness of the soil produced. In fact, the freeze-thaw cycles will help to break down the materials that you are adding, so they will decompose even faster when the spring arrives. Our Sioux Falls garbage company gives you some great tips to keep your compost healthy this winter!


The mix of bacteria and fungi work together to break down the organic material that you put in your compost. Winter can slow the decomposition rate, or even halt it if it freezes all the way through. As long as you keep the temperature in your compost above freezing, it will continue to work slowly. You can build a windbreak made of hay bales or bags of leaves around your compost to insulate it, so make sure to prepare by raking the yard clean of leaves in the fall. There is no need to cover the top of your compost with leaves during the winter months, since there will be minimal odor that will attract animals. Keep a lid on it if the weather is extra rough.


You can layer carbon ingredients such as autumn leaves or straw with kitchen scraps in the compost, even if the pile is frozen. When the pile thaws, the ingredients will break down quickly. Cut your kitchen scraps into small pieces to help speed up the process and help the bacteria decompose them although the temperatures are low.


Composting with worms is a great alternative during winter. Use enclosed bins and keep them in your garage or other indoor area. Fill the bins with topsoil, straw, and shredded newspapers and add ½-1 pound of redworms. The worms will be able to process up to ½ pound of chopped kitchen scraps per day! After 3-4 months, the compost can be spread in your garden.
Composting in the winter versus composting in the summer aren’t much different, it is just slower. Keep composting all year round to maximize your free soil and at the same time minimize your impact on the environment.

At Novak Sanitary, we are dedicated to a cleaner environment, and are working hard to make recycling easier and more convenient for everyone in the Sioux Falls area – residents, businesses, and construction sites. We are committed to providing customers the best possible service and innovation; we strongly encourage participation in our recycling program. Contact us today to learn more about our services!