What happens to the food scraps we collect? Well, we take them to several certified commercial composting facilities where they are turned into compost!

  1. Sorting. All collected food waste is subject to quality control, and all non-organic contaminants are removed by hand by our Cowboy Compost staff – which is why we appreciate your help keeping contaminants out of our green bins.
  2. Delivery to Local Commercial Composting Facilities. Unlike composting in backyards or at community gardens, in commercial composting, decomposition is sped up so that large quantities of even the toughest organic materials—such as bones, natural oils, or meats—will break-down quickly and safely. That’s how we are able to accept meat, dairy, food-soiled paper, and certified compostable items.
  3. Combination with other compostable materials. In order to create the right conditions for commercial composting, you need the right combination of nitrogen-heavy food waste (“greens”) and carbon-heavy yard waste and woody materials (“browns”). You also need the right moisture content. We like to think of it as ingredients for a great cake recipe!
  4. Mix, turn, water, repeat. When maintained properly, the pile will naturally heat up to approximately 110-140°F where naturally occurring pathogens in food waste, such as E.coli and Salmonella, are destroyed and the compost becomes safe to handle. The compost is then turned and watered several times over the next few weeks to introduce air into the pile and keep any odors from developing.
  5. Finish! After 10-12 weeks of sitting and turning, your food scraps will have almost completely broken down into compost and mulch. The material can be screened, tested for quality, and bagged!

Think composting can save the world? Us too. Want to learn more and become a Master Composter in Fort Worth? Visit the Compost Outpost at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens for trainings and classes! More information here.