Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Composters allow homeowners--and even those who live in apartments with balconies--to recycle their garbage and kitchen scraps and put them to practical use outdoors. Why waste anything if it can be turned into another product that does some good? That is the premise behind recycling, and composters are excellent, efficient recyclers of household waste material.

Actually, the composter is merely the convenient container for the bacteria that do the work of breaking down garbage into fertilizer for plants, shrubs, and trees. These bacteria must have sufficient oxygen in order to survive so they can affect the garbage quickly. For this reason, compost material used to have to be turned manually with shovels or pitchforks in order to prevent the substance from forming a tight ball. Today's containers let you merely turn a drum every week, and this aerates the mixture.

Modern Composters

Fortunately, lawn and garden equipment has evolved to make composting simple and effortless. Today's containers are fully-enclosed to keep out children and animals, and they turn easily to loosen the mixture inside. Within a few weeks, you have nutritious, organic fertilizer for your garden without having paid anything for it.

Some composters are so small, they can be used on balconies, but all can be placed in the yard, as they are sturdy and will not rust. Some allow for the collection of compost tea, that liquid nourishment that results from the composting process. This is a most valuable by-product of this kind of recycling, and it can be used in liquid form to fertilize plants and gardens.

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