Factors for successful composting!
Air
The microbes need air to work. Make sure they have enough by keeping compost "fluffy." Don't add material that mats together tightly. Turn as often as possible!
Water
Keep your materials about as moist as a well-wrung cloth. Wet, but not drenched. Don't put your pile too far from a water source.
Particle size
Smaller compostables get eaten quicker. So slice it up, tear it up, bruise it, or otherwise rough up your compostables.
Temperature
Check on your pile by feeling the temperature of the center of the pile, a few inches down inside. Heat means it's working. Ambient air temperatures can slow down or speed up composting, but you can compost in most conditions.
Volume
Compost heaps should heap up! Spread too thinly, decomposition will slow. At least three by three by three (feet) is enough to maintain ideal conditions for making compost.

Another big factor is what you add. Broadly, we have greens and browns. All are high-carbon, but greens are high moisture (more alive) and browns low moisture (dead). A bunch of tall grass would be a green. That same grass becomes a brown once it dries out and becomes hay. You want to have more browns than greens to have a well balanced pile. Too many greens can result in bad odors. Too many browns means slow decomposition. You can always adjust as you manage your pile.

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Stuff you can put in your compost

Grass and plant trimmings
Kitchen scraps
Fall leaves
Past its prime produce
Coffee grounds & steeped tea
Veggies from making stock
Manure from vegetarian animals
Egg shells, ground
Paper scraps and cardboard, shredded
Cotton, canvas or burlap scraps
Wood shavings or sawdust (untreated lumber only)
Receipts, junk mail, newspapers
Corncobs, melon rinds, citrus peels, apple cores
Jack o lanterns
Beer, wine, coffee, tea
Latex items like balloons or condoms
Herbs & spices that lost their flavor
Pet bedding, feathers
Nut & seed shells
Wood ash & charred firewood
Hay and straw
Seaweed or algae
Lint from the dryer or vacuum

Leave out
Bones, meat
Dairy products
Fatty or greasy items
Rice
Items with lots of added salt

@interneteh thanks for the tips! Some places suggest that most condoms aren't fully latex and so shouldn't be used in compost, just an FYI

@interneteh I had no idea you could compost condoms. The idea kinda squicks me out, though. Would they actually break down in residential compost or would it require the higher heat of an industrial composter?

@ink_slinger any 100% latex product can be composted bc it is plant derived. I can't say how fast it is

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