Want to be greener? Learn more about sustainability in the Yampa Valley:

Home Composting

Landfills are not designed to breakdown organic waste. When organic material like food waste goes in the trash, the hazardous output of methane is the largest human related source of methane emissions at 34% (www.highcountryconservation.org).

Naturally composting sounds like a great idea, but there is one problem, bears.

Strategies that deter bears from your compost bin:

  • Do not put any meat, fish, dairy or grease in your bin. During times of high bear activity (April – November) do not put sweet smelling items like fruits and vegetables.
  • Put equal proportions brown materials (i.e. leaves) to green materials (i.e. food scraps). When adding food, add an even thicker layer of brown.
  • A properly maintained compost bin should not produce any smells that attract bears. Bears are attracted by to the smell of rotting food.
  • Watch your bin. If raccoons, foxes, skunks or dogs are visiting your bin, then bears might too.
  • No compost bin is bear proof, but if the bin is well maintained then it will not produce smells that attract bears.
  • Compost correctly or compost indoors.

Alternative indoor home composting methods:

Other compost resources:

Garden Smart: Composting with care in bear country
“Living with Bears – Handbook – expanded second edition” by Linda Masterson.

More questions? Contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife.