Originally Posted by Square Eye
the more materials you use in composting the more maintenance it will require.
Hot composting does require some maintainance, how much depends on how quickly you want it to finish. You could always pile a bunch of organic material up and leave it alone for a couple of years. It will compost on it's own, but very slowly. But, I'm guessing we are all talking about hot composting in this thread.
I've found that the more diverse and abundant the materials the easier it is to maintain a hot pile and the quicker it will break down. This is, of course, if the proper balance of carbon to nitrogen is maintained and the pile is kept moist and aerated. Also keep in mind the ideal size of a composting bin should be 4' square.
I've found that I can save my leaves from the fall all the way until the following summer. This gives me a good brown (carbon) to balance all the grass clippings (green/nitrogen) durring the mowing season.