Composters turn trash into garden cash

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – One man’s trash can also be one man’s treasure. Instead of throwing it away and taking up space at the dump, why not compost it into food for your garden. The Bernalillo County Extension is offering classes at designated locations around the county from now through June to teach homeowners how to compost waste.

“So a homeowner, instead of sending something to the landfill, can take for example kitchen scraps, leaves, paper, clippings from the garden and organize those so they decompose right in the backyard,” says John Zarola, master composter with the Bernalillo County Extension. “And then that end product can then be used in the garden bed to enrich the soil.”

It wouldn’t take much to get your own compost heap started. An in-ground box or above-ground bin should be able to accommodate the decomposable trash and kitchen scraps of a small family. In turn, those scraps are converted into humus which you can introduce into the soils of your garden and have a very nice looking yard.

Whether it’s letting worms do the job or time, moisture and heat break down trash. Composting takes a little patience which can provide rich humus in about 18 months. Bernalillo County composters say they can show you how to get started.

“Probably the best thing to do would be to come to one of our many composting classes which we have throughout the county,” adds Zarola. “They’re free and open to the public and they’re posted on our website. There are currently 17 classes available to the public.”

For more information about the Bernalillo County Composters classes, you can check out their website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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