Compost Pails — a great way to collect nitrogen rich composting materials from the kitchen.


The key to a successful compost pile is made up of many factors, but one of the most important factors is a proper balance between Carbon and Nitrogen – rich materials. Having a proper balance between the two will result in some of the best “black gold” you could ever hope for.

Carbon-rich materials can be found in the household, or around the yard. These items include things such as leaves, woodchips, newspaper, cereal, and sawdust. To balance out the Carbon rich materials and aid in faster decomposition in the compost process, you need to make sure there are plenty of Nitrogen rich materials as well. The best place to find Nitrogen rich materials will be in food scraps – such as fruit and vegetable trimmings. That’s right, everyday household food items such as bananas, pears, potatoes, carrots, and more will be excellent for your compost pile.

So that brings us to a compost pail. These are excellent ways to help collect Nitrogen rich materials for your compost heap. By using a compost pail and keeping it in the kitchen, you can toss your excess food scraps and fruit and vegetable peelings in the pail. For example, if you are cooking and are peeling potatoes, just rifle all the excess potato peelings into the compost pail instead of the garbage disposal. Every few days or so, just take the compost pail out to the pile and empty it. It’s that simple.

These pails also come in a variety of colors – from black, white, red, to even stainless steel and bamboo. This means that there is most certainly one that will fit the overall décor of your kitchen. So from an aesthetic aspect, you are as good as gold. If you are worried about a potential smell, have no fear – these compost pails typically come with a carbon or charcoal filter that will suppress and eliminate any chance of an odor. These filters only need to be replaced every 3-4 months, and replacement filters can be purchased separately.

A compost pail is nice because not only will it help you remember to collect those Nitrogen-rich materials with ease and frequently, but it will also add in less trips outside to the compost pile. This way, you only have to go there every few days instead of every single time you need to throw some food scraps in the pile. Give a compost pail a try, it will be essential to happy composting, and you will wonder how you ever lived without one.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael June 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Can we add the kitchen scraps to compost every other day? How does that impact compost that’s been cooking for several months already? What I mean is, if the compost is nearly ready, do we have to save the scraps until we start a new pile?


lars June 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm


There’s batch composting, and continuous composting.

If you’re continuously composting, you can stop adding for a few weeks to let the most recently added material finish breaking down, so that all of it is finished compost.

Alternatively, you can keep adding stuff and just run it through a screen when you need compost. Sift out the unfinished materials and throw them back into the bin, and use the rest of the finished compost.


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