Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Tips for Composting in the City

Speed Up the Process
Make certain the scraps are relatively small.
Make certain the scraps are relatively small.
Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

So, when will your compost be done? If you add materials now and then, and turn it sporadically, you most likely won't see the finished product for a year or more. However, if you're getting tired of waiting for your compost to mature, there are ways to speed up the process.

When it comes to composting, smaller is better. Smaller pieces of material break down faster than bulky items. Use your hand pruners or a knife to cut large pieces of yard waste into pieces not more than 4-inches long (a little over 10 centimeters). And make sure your kitchen scraps are also chopped into bite-size chunks.

Turning your pile more frequently also will speed up the process. Mix things up at least once a week and spray it with water to keep it damp.

With a little extra care, you could have finished compost in just three months [source: The City of New York].