In this month’s 5280, Emily Dougherty explores Denver’s canceled composting program, a free service that offered pickup for 3,300 local homes.

The bright side, she writes, is that composting on your own isn’t difficult. Fifty-seven percent of our garbage is organic matter, which you can prevent from becoming methane gas by employing some simple composting at home. For example, worms will gobble up your old banana peels. Just keep them in a small storage bin outside, or use an indoor tumbling bin.

Dougherty also dispels some rumors about the compost pile. It doesn’t smell, as long as you turn it often and have a good mix of nitrogen and carbon materials. Not much space is required to get started, and you won’t attract pests as long as you bury your food under carbon-rich materials.

Ready to compost? Check out some of the following local classes:

Denver Urban Gardens (co-sponsored by Denver Recycles/Solid Waste Management and the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District): Free composting classes offered May (though all are full) through October.

Denver Urban Homesteading: Worm composting classes offered for $35; check the Web site for upcoming dates.