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How to Use a Kitchen Compost Bin
Tips For Making Black Gold from Scraps
A kitchen compost bin helps you use your kitchen waste for good, rather than letting it go to waste and adding it to our landfills.
It’s a simple way you can make a difference for both the environment and for your garden. Worldwide, one-third of food produced for consumption is wasted, according to the Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations.
That’s a whole lot of scraps that can be converted to compost for your tomato patch or vegetable garden – scraps that accumulate in your trash every day.
With just a little bit of planning, that garbage becomes gold.
When you add kitchen waste to a compost pile and it breaks down and decays, becoming carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich organic matter. . It operates as a soil conditioner, helping improve poor soil or rebuilding the soil in your overused tomato patch.
No matter where you live – whether you’re on a 100-acre farm or in a city apartment, whether you have a large compost pile or none at all – you can use a compost bin in the kitchen. Scraps can go on your compost pile, into your compost bin, donated to a local composting center, or set out for community pickup. It’s a simple way to recycle and reduce waste. Use this info to get going making black gold out of kitchen leftovers.
What to look for in a kitchen compost bin
Choosing a type of compost bin for your kitchen may seem like a simple decision. But there are plenty of options you can consider.
Small compost pails can hold up to a gallon of scraps, which take up less space but need to be emptied more often. Compost buckets can hold 5 gallons. Indoor composters can process 5 pounds of food a day but may require floor space. How much room on your counter, on the floor, or in a pantry do you want to allocate?
If you want to simply collect tomato cores and banana peels in one place, then a straight-up kitchen compost bin can fill the bill. But these days you can create compost right in your own home by using electric kitchen composters (also called food recyclers) – freestanding appliances that can break down food scraps into compost in just a few hours. It’s an investment, but for some gardeners it’s a solid one.
- Practical features
No matter what size or type of kitchen compost bin you choose, look for secure lids and handles. When your bucket’s lid is easy to open and close, you won’t get hung up on the inconvenience of collecting waste. And a durable handle can withstand plenty of trips to the compost bin.
You can stash a compost pail in a cupboard or behind a door. But you can also choose attractive styles and finishes in metal or ceramic that can add color to your kitchen counter. Study your layout and the look you want to achieve as you choose a kitchen compost bin. And to that point …
Where should I put my compost bin in my kitchen?
Key tip here: place your compost bin in a convenient spot. This way, you can empty waste easily.
What waste can go in kitchen compost bin?
- Coffee grounds, tea bags and grounds
- Corn husks and silk
- Egg shells
- Flowers, leaves
- Fruit and vegetable peels
- Nut shells
- Old spices
- Pencil shavings
- Seafood shells
- Shredded paper
- Stale bread
What not to include in kitchen compost bin
- Cooked leftovers
- Dairy products: butter, cheese, milk, sour cream, and yogurt
- Fat, grease, oils
- Fat-based condiments, dressings, sauces
- Meat, bones, fat, gristle, or skin
- Processed foods such as bread, candy, chips, crackers, or pasta
- Takeout foods and fast foods
Do kitchen compost bins smell?
All that refuse can lead to nastiness. But not if you empty your compost bin regularly.
Plus, most compost bins for the kitchen have holes to provide air circulation. When you have air moving in and around waste, you help start the composting process right away. The microorganisms in composting material need air to survive and to break down organic matter.
Higher-quality kitchen compost bins have carbon or charcoal filters to absorb nasty odors. Replace filters according to manufacturer’s instructions to avoid fragrant aromas from drifting into the kitchen.
Can you make a DIY compost bin for your kitchen?
Sure! Use any sealable container with a tight-fitting lid. Punch or drill some holes for circulation.
In our home, we use a recycled plastic ice cream bucket for our kitchen compost pail. Once a day, we take the contents outside to our compost pile. It’s become one of our family household chores, like taking out the trash.
Other kitchen compost bin ideas
- Speed up decomposition of food scraps by running them through a blender or food processor before adding them to your compost pail.
- If you want to reduce your food waste but don’t want to make your own compost, collect scraps and store them in the freezer. You can even use a biodegradable trash bag that can go directly into the composting collection bin from the freezer on collection day.
Make gold out of trash
It’s easy to get started composting your kitchen scraps. My sister gathers them in a bowl next to her sink. At the end of the day or when the bowl is full (whichever comes first), she walks a few steps out her back door and dumps the contents into her compost tumbler. Why don’t you?
More composting tips
Composting basics to get you started ...
4 Types of Compost Bins: Which Is Best for You?
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When to compost: a guide to composting through 4 seasons...
Get more tips on our Compost for Tomatoes Pinterest Board...
Return from Use a Kitchen Compost Bin to Tomato Dirt home
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