Activated carbon: Carbon-rich material like charcoal used in compost filters or systems to absorb odours and impurities.

Activator: Material like finished compost, manure, or commercial compost starter that jumpstarts the composting process by introducing beneficial microorganisms.

Aerated Static Pile: A composting method where air is forced through a stationary pile of organic material to facilitate aerobic decomposition.

Aeration: The introduction of oxygen into the compost pile to promote aerobic decomposition.

Aerobic composting: Composting with the presence of oxygen, typically faster and more efficient.

Anaerobic: Decomposition that occurs in the absence of oxygen.

Anaerobic composting: Composting without oxygen, usually slower and may produce odors.

Bacteria: Microorganisms responsible for breaking down organic matter in the compost pile.

Bin System: A method of organizing composting materials into separate containers or compartments for different stages of decomposition.

Biodegradable: Materials capable of being broken down into simpler substances by natural processes, like composting.

Biofilter: A device or structure containing living material used to capture and biologically degrade air pollutants.

Biomass: Organic material used as a source of renewable energy or composting feedstock.

Brown waste: Dry, carbon-rich materials such as leaves, straw, paper, or cardboard.

Carbon: Brown materials in compost, such as dry leaves, straw, or cardboard, providing energy for microorganisms.

Carbon Sink: Compost acts as a carbon sink, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere when added to soil.

C/N ratio: Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, important for proper composting; ideal ratio ranges from 25:1 to 30:1.

Cold composting: Composting at lower temperatures, a slower process often suitable for home composting.

Compost: Decomposed organic matter, often used as fertilizer or soil conditioner.

Compostable: Materials capable of breaking down into compost under specific conditions, often certified as compostable by standards organizations.

Compostable Bags: Biodegradable bags designed to break down along with organic waste during composting.

Compostable Packaging: Packaging materials made from organic matter designed to break down in composting systems.

Compost bin: Container used to hold compost materials, available in various sizes and designs for home composting.

Composting: The process of decomposing organic materials into compost.

Compost Sifter: A tool used to separate finished compost from larger, uncomposted materials.

Compost tea: Liquid fertilizer made by steeping compost in water, used to feed plants and improve soil health.

Composting Toilet: A toilet system that composts human waste into usable compost.

Covering: Material placed over the compost pile to regulate moisture levels and protect it from excessive rain or drying out.

Curing: Allowing compost to sit undisturbed to complete the decomposition process and stabilize before use.

Decomposition: The breakdown of organic matter into simpler compounds through biological processes.

Finished compost: Fully decomposed, dark, crumbly material ready to be used in gardens or as a soil amendment.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Gases released during composting, including carbon dioxide and methane.

Green Roof: A roof partially or completely covered with vegetation, often incorporating compost for plant growth.

Green waste: Fresh, organic materials like kitchen scraps, garden trimmings, and grass clippings, rich in nitrogen.

Hot composting: Composting at high temperatures (around 130-160°F or 55-70°C), accelerating decomposition and killing pathogens and weed seeds.

Humus: The dark, organic material that remains after composting is complete, rich in nutrients and beneficial for soil health.

Inoculant: A substance containing beneficial microorganisms added to the compost pile to speed up decomposition.

In-vessel composting: Composting that occurs inside containers or vessels, often used for large-scale or industrial composting.

Leachate: Liquid that drains from compost piles, containing nutrients and organic matter, often collected and used as compost tea or liquid fertilizer.

Maturation: The final stage of composting where the material stabilizes and becomes suitable for use in gardens.

Microorganisms: Tiny organisms like bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter during composting.

Mulch: Layer of organic material placed on the soil surface to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Mulching Mower: A lawnmower designed to chop grass into small pieces, suitable for use as mulch or compost.

Nitrogen: Green materials in compost, like food scraps, grass clippings, or manure, supplying protein for microorganisms.

Odor Control: Methods used to manage unpleasant smells that may arise during composting.

Organic Matter: Material derived from living organisms, such as kitchen scraps, yard waste, and manure, suitable for composting.

Pathogen: Microorganisms that can cause disease, which are often destroyed during the composting process.

Percolate: Liquid that seeps through the compost pile, carrying nutrients and microorganisms.

Pile: The accumulation of organic material being composted.

Sheet Composting: Layering organic material directly onto garden beds to decompose in place.

Thermophilic: Refers to microorganisms that thrive in high-temperature environments, often present in hot compost piles.

Turning: Mixing or aerating compost to provide oxygen and speed up decomposition.

Vermicomposting: Composting with the help of worms (usually red wigglers), which speed up decomposition and produce nutrient-rich worm castings.

Windrow composting: Composting in long, narrow piles (windrows), typically used for outdoor large-scale composting operations.

Yard Waste: Organic material generated from maintaining landscapes, such as grass clippings and pruning debris.

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