Food Wastes to Compost Or Not

DO COMPOST – For food compost it is important to use a plastic or metal compost bin:

– All your vegetable and fruit wastes, including rinds and cores even if they are moldy.
– Coffee grounds, tea bags and filters
– Crushed egg shells
– Stale bread, donuts, cookies, crackers, all foodstuffs produced from flour.
– Grains (cooked or uncooked): rice
– Fruit or vegetable pulp from making juice
– Expired boxed foods from the pantry; pasta
– Corn cobs and husks (cobs decompose very slowly)

DON’T COMPOST

– Meat or meat waste, such as bones, fat, gristle, skin, etc.
– Fish or fish waste
– Dairy products, such as cheese, butter, yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream,
– Grease and oils

The Decision to Live Green

Home composting of food products is the decision to live green. Store scraps in plastic bags in your refrigerator until you can place them in your compost bin. While preparing food, chop up scraps so they take up less space until placed in your compost bin. Scraps can be placed in a Kitchen Compost Pail until taken to your compost bin

The Kitchen Compost Pail

The best way to store food scraps until thrown into the compost bin is in a kitchen compost pail with a snap on secure lid. This pail can be kept under the sink. The kitchen scrap pail should have a secure lid, be washable, and have a handle. A plastic pail with a tight fitting lid is ideal.

Empty your kitchen scrap container daily or every few days, depending upon how much waste you generate. Placing a damp paper towel or damp newspaper over the contents of the pail will help keep down the odor.

The best size pail to store food scraps is a 4-5 gallon lidded bucket. This 4 to 5 gallon bucket can be easily found at your local hardware store. Keep the bucket near your back door. Line the lid with newspaper to cut down on gnats and odors.

Here’s a good process to cut down on odors or gnats. Keep nearby a small pail of finished compost, sawdust or peat moss, Scoop a large spoon full of this material and sprinkle it on the top of the newly-added food scraps. This will cut down on the odors and gnats.

The Cone Shaped Composter

There are several cone shaped composting bins available on the market to make composting easy. The bottom portion of these types of compost bins have aeration holes and are buried about 2 feet in the ground. This keeps the odors generated by decomposition to a minimum. The portion of the compost bin that is above ground is sealed when the lid is closed to keep out animals.

These types of compost bins aren’t designed to compost grass clippings but are specifically for composting vegetable food waste. This type of compost bin should be set in direct sunlight. The heat generated from the direct sun exposure aids in the decomposition process.

Food waste composting can easily produce rich compost for fertilizer by using a cone shaped composter and carefully adding the correct food scraps to the compost. Go to Food Waste Composting for more free information on composting. This article was written by Anna M. Hartman