Compost piles need to be turned over periodically to allow the materials to decompose faster. The middle of the pile heats up, so materials in the middle break down faster than the materials on the outside. Turning over the compost pile aerates the middle and exposes the outside materials to the most heat in the center. This allows for a more complete breakdown of the whole compost pile.
Composting requires two things; water and air. What happens if you do not turn the pile is that the pile will consume all of the oxygen and anaerobically (without oxygen) decomposition occurs. The result is a very foul odor and slower decomposition.
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