Composting toxic?

A reader writes in with a question.

My husband and I are renting our first home and I’m excited to start composting as about 70% of our weekly garbage is compostable. It appears as if the family who lived in the house before us set up a wire composting bin directly behind the children’s swingset in the back yard. I was wondering if that was in any way dangerous in terms of toxic fumes, children eating the dirt, etc.

I would not worry.

My four year old helps participate with composting sometimes, and I would not consider compost to be unsafe in any way.

In fact, the EPA has studied using compost as a way to clean up toxic areas. The organic process of materials breaking down into compost also helps get rid of some types of toxins in the soil.

You can always move your bin to a different spot if you are worried about kids getting into it. If you do, I would not have any concern about the former spot where the previous compost bin used to be.

Hope this helps!

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