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Compost Keeping in the Kitchen

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Posted on : 1:57 PM | By : Nic | In : ,

One of the nasty parts of composting is keeping the bucket in the kitchen from smelling. It is impractical to run out to the heap every time you have a food scrap, and it will inevitably smell at some point if you put food in it, so what do you do?

First of all, the bucket makes a difference. Many people use an old bulk ice cream bucket because they have a lid, but what works much better is a large food grade container. I have one that is similar to Tupperware, that is microwave and dishwasher safe and can go in the freezer. It has a high grade plastic that doesn't absorb colors like the ice cream buckets do, and an air-tight lid. It's also quite tall which means I only have to dump it every few days.

Once you have your bucket and it starts filling, the next step is to keep the lid shut. During the day I keep it cracked a bit during cooking times because I don't want to have to pry the lid open every time something has to go in, but it has to be shut in between and at night. It will start to decompose a little bit, but without air there won't be any composting and mold can't get in. It also prevents fruit flies from spawning. This will keep the smell down significantly.

The second trick is to throw in small amounts of paper and cardboard. We rarely use paper towel, but if we do I will rip it up and throw it in. Receipts, paper scraps and others little dry bits get thrown in, which helps balance out the bucket the same as it does to your big compost heap. You can even toss in toilet paper rolls that you've cut up.

Once you've dumped it, wash it immediately or put it in the dishwasher (the easiest option). Then put it on the counter for another round! This has made my kitchen stink free (except when I burn stuff). :)

Comments (2)

Very helpful entry! Thanks for this!

I use a 1 gallon size yogurt container (or large coffee can), and leave it open on the counter.

Throughout the day I toss in the scraps, then after cleaning off the dinner dishes I take it out to compost, or toss to the chickens depending what's in it.

I then put the container in the dishwasher with the dinner dishes, wash overnight, and the next morning take out the can and start fresh over again. No fruit flies, no smell!