Composting Info: Is Compost Combustable? Answers.


Often, we get composting related questions. In this video, Lars answers a question from a reader in Austin, TX who asked:

I purchased a rectangular, black, plastic, compost bin but there were no instructions regarding how often I need to “turn” the compost. I live in Austin, TX, so I’m concerned about the combustibility of the contents during the hot summer months. Any tips?

What a great question!

First things first, how often you turn the compost is really up to you. If you want to be an active composter, you might want to turn your compost about every 3 days or whenever you take stuff out to the bin. You can mix your compost tool up with a pitchfork or even a specialized compost turning tool. There’s no right or wrong answer, because everything will break down over time.

As far as combustibility is concerned, there shouldn’t be a problem. As far as compost spontaneously combusting is concerned, that’s usually in regards to more of a municipal scale – for example to where you may have 5 yards by 5 yards of material piled really high. You probably won’t get temperatures over 120 or 130 degrees in the middle of your compost bin. In fact, in Austin, you may have more of a worry of your compost drying out. If this happens, you can always take the lid off when it rains, or you can add some water in there. Remember, you want your compost to have the texture, dampness, and feel of a rung-out sponge.

Hope this answers your question, thanks for reading!

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