BDN interviews Hutchinson for article about compost

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Mark Hutchinson, an extension educator with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article about compost. Anything that was once alive can be composted, and this includes some surprising items, the article states. However, some decompose much slower than others. These items can be sifted out from compost that has become dark soil using a mesh sheet in a wooden frame, according to Hutchinson. “You place that on top of a wheelbarrow, then shake the compost through. What’s left is the start of your new pile,” he said. One surprising item that can be composted is meat, though it can attract rodents and other animals if done improperly. “Animals smell the product, so it needs to be buried inside of a compost pile so the other material acts as a biofilter and no odors are coming out of the pile,” Hutchinson said. “You can easily put a small amount of meat in the middle of a compost pile and have it not be an issue.” He also said products made of 100 percent cotton or wool can be composted, but could take a couple of cycles to fully break down. Other unexpected items that can be composted include hair, some animal waste, paper, tea bags, coffee filters and eggshells, according to the BDN.