FAQ - Composting

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What is Composting? 

Composting is a biological process in which micro-organisms transform organic matter, such as manure, leaves, paper and food scraps, into a material similar to soil which is called compost.
 
"Home composting saves transport and waste disposal costs and gives a proper final destination to the type of waste involved."
 

How does Compost improve the soil? 

Compost adds organic matter to the soil. It improves water retention in sandy soils and increases porosity in clay soils.
 
It introduces beneficial organisms into the soil, such as bacteria and fungi, that transfer nutrients from the mineral part of soil into the plants.
 

How can I use Compost? 

Mature compost is used in lawns, pots, flower beds, jardinières and tree pits. A mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 sand and 1/3 soil is a rich fertiliser for young plants, jardinières and interior plants. For landscape architecture projects, a mixture of 60% compost and 40% soil is ideal for lawns, flower beds, trees and young bushes.
 
Home composting is very easy and everyone can do it, you only need a bit of space.
 
 

What are the advantages of using compost in a farm?

 When used in plantations, compost adds organic matter, improves soil structure, reduces the need for fertilisers and the soil erosion
 It can be stored for long periods of time, without the development of odour or flies;
 It can be used at any time of the year;
 It reduces or eliminates manure deposition, reduces run-off and nitrate contamination of well water;
 It can also be used as cattle bedding.

What does Biodegradable mean? 

Biodegradable substances can be easily decomposed into simpler substances within the environment, by micro-organisms that exist in nature. Vegetables, fruit, egg shells, bread, cakes, tee and coffee bags, leaves, grass, pruning waste, stems, flowers, branches, straw, hay... are examples of biodegradable materials used in home or industrial composting in Lipor's Horta da Formiga and Composting Plant.

 

What is Organic Farming? 

Organic Farming is a type of agriculture based on the sustainable use of soil, by using the relationships among plants to avoid pests, and avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
 
The Horta da Formiga is Lipor's Home Composting Centre where the home composting process, its possible uses and advantages are demonstrated. The compost produced is used in the orchard and the kitchen garden, where organic farming principles are practised.
 
 

How can my participation in environmental protection become easier? 

Use two bins for your domestic waste: one for organic waste (food scraps) and another for plastic and metal packages. Due to their larger dimensions, glass packages can be stored, for instance, in a balcony, pantry or storeroom. Paper and cardboard can be stored in any room, for instance, inside a cardboard box, as they don't release odours. You should flatten paper and cardboard packaging, in order to reduce their volume and increase storage capacity, thus reducing the number of times you have to go to the eco-container. Whenever possible, you should empty the packages completely and flatten them, so that they take up less space. If you think it's necessary, you can wash them to avoid unpleasant odours. Wood packages should also be separated, but these can only be disposed of in drop-off sites. 

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