The organic matter and microbial activity is what generates the heat in the compost pile. The compost pile can typically reach temperature between 70 and 80 degrees.
Decomposition is an exothermic process because as microorganisms eat the compost they generate heat which allows compost piles to reach up to 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures are important for the decomposition of matter as well as the killing of diseases and weeds within the pile. As decomposition and microbial activity increase the temperatures heat up. Once the temperatures begins to drop it is time to turn the pile to increase oxygen for the microbial activity as well as rotate in the undecomposed matter.
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