Photo courtesy of MJ Monty at Flickr.com.
In an average house, the kitchen is where 80-90% of all organic scraps come from. The cutting board creates a steady stream of waste, from apple seeds and peach pits to avocado shells. It’s also where potato peels, the tops of strawberries, and bell pepper stems gather. Food scraps can quickly attract insects and rodents, so its important to dispose of them in a timely way, but these high volume fruit and vegetable scraps can be quite a handful. They not only take up lots of space, but they can be messy and awkward to carry across carpet. So, the kitchen is a logical place to put a bucket or pail for gathering scraps.
If you have a compost pile or composter in the back yard, a kitchen compost pail is a great accessory. These airtight pails are designed to control odor, and they can store compost scraps for days or weeks. Carrying compost out of the house during a rain or snowstorm can be an unpleasant experience, but with a kitchen compost holder you can stay inside where it’s warm and dry. There’s no reason to make a trip out to the composter whenever you generate new scraps; instead, just put them in a kitchen crock and consolidate multiple trips into one!
Photo courtesy of Maria Sews at Flickr.com.
Photo courtesy of Sustainable Harvest International at Flickr.com.
Does your town collect leaves in the fall and Christmas trees in January? Often, this garbage is taken to a central location and shredded for use in landscaping all around town. Throughout the year, tree trimmings and grass clippings are often added to municipal compost heaps. Many cities offer this mulch and compost made from this mulch for a fee. Depending on how much money your town spends to support the program, these community composting centers can offer high grade compost or questionable compost contaminated with unhealthy scraps.
There’s no need to go to the town compost pile. Instead, turn to your back yard and take control over the compost that you use. Home composters are available that can handle any amount of kitchen scraps or yard waste. There are large and small composters available in just about any shape or color. For the fastest results, there are even tumbling composters and worm composters.
Composting with worms is very rewarding, because worms do all of the work of aerating and turning a compost pile for you. Instead of using a pitchfork to turn partially decayed compost, you can sit back and relax, knowing that your worms are happily at work. Worms work at all hours of the day, and they will quickly reproduce until their numbers match the available food supply. This biological feedback loop ensures that worm bins break down food scraps quickly and without wasting any effort.
Worm composters are self contained, and they don’t require any expensive supplies. In fact, they take “worthless” trash and convert it into high quality fertilizer, which can add up to some big savings. Home composting reduces the volume of trash that you throw away, and some garbage companies charge based on volume. Vermicomposting also saves money because it reduces the cost of landscaping and creates a soil amendment that’s perfect for filling cracks or depressions in the yard.
Photo courtesy of quapan at Flickr.com.