After you work out in the yard, you probably have a lot of "left-overs". What do you do with those grass clippings, leaves, and other yard debris? You could put them in bags or pile them along the street to be picked up and taken to the landfill. There, they will break down- but it will take a while and take up a lot of space.
OR you could start your own compost pile. You can put those yard clippings to good use, save landfill space and get some rich soil as a bonus. You'll also have less of a need for fertilizers.
There are just a few things you need to know to get started. You can use your yard clippings and even add food scraps to your pile. As a general rule, use things which used to be alive- as in plants. Don't add meat or dairy products. Also stick with raw fruit and veggie peels. According to Mark Danieley, Alamance County Extension Agent, anything which has been cooked runs the risk or being buttery or oily. Rats and mice tend to find that attractive and that will draw them to your compost pile.
Another thing to remember is to turn your pile. Make sure the whole thing gets air. Otherwise, you will have one stinky compost heap! Here's a paper from the NC State Department of Horticultural Science to get you started.
Mark Danieley, Alamance County Extension Agent