Integrate a Compost Area

A compost area should be integrated into all sustainable residential sites because it epito­mizes the concept of regeneration in the environment. A compost area can be used to col­lect a range of organic waste, including leaves, lawn clippings, plant pruning debris, and even vegetable discards from the kitchen (Figure 3—52). All these organic materials slowly decompose to form a nutrient-rich soil that can be used in the landscape as a soil additive or mulch. When compost is added back into the landscape to improve soil structure and support plant life, it truly is creating a self-supporting “cycle.” Compost areas have the added benefit of collecting material that is otherwise taken away to already overflowing landfills. A compost area should be easily accessible and screened to block drying wind and views. The compost area can be a simple pile or a structure with different bins for collecting and decomposition. When a compost area is not feasible because of space lim­itations or other restraints, then provisions should be made to take green landscape mate­rial to municipal compost, where it serves a larger community good.