One doesn’t make compost; compost happens naturally. It’s the natural process of decay in which complex organic substances are broken down by bacteria, earthworms, fungi, and other decomposers. 25% of garbage sent to landfill is said to be composed of kitchen scraps that can be composted.

The Kitchen Compost Bin

A container with a lid is all that is required for a compost bin. While there are commercially built kitchen composters, some with complex filters, many reused items can be used for composting purposes including generic storage bins, plastic ice cream buckets, and insulated picnic coolers. It should be big enough for the composting family’s needs and yet small enough to be put conveniently away. Many kitchen composters use a small pail for the immediate scraps, transferring the gathered scraps of the day into the kitchen compost bin.

What Does Rot

If it was once alive, chances are it can be composted.

Kitchen items which can be easily composted:

Peels, rinds and clippings from fruits and vegetables
Coffee grounds, old coffee and coffee filters
Tea bags, old tea and tea grounds
Paper towels and napkins
Cardboard – inside pizza boxes, cereal boxes, cardboard food packaging and other thin cardboard
Brown paper bags
Grocery receipts
Old cotton dishtowels
Stale bread
Bad flour
Bad cornmeal
Nutshells except walnut shells which are bad for compost
Freezer-burned vegetables and fruit
Old spices
Paper or wood matches
Molasses residue
Potato peel
Egg shells
Old pasta
Melted ice cream
Stale potato chips
Old cotton kitchen mits
Moldy cheese
Apple cores
Old yogurt
Shrimp, crab and lobster shells
Pie crust
Onion skins
Melon rinds
Date and olive pits
Old, burned or stale oatmeal
Bread crusts
Old or scorched rice
Spoiled wine
Old beer
Fish bones
Wooden toothpicks
Stale breakfast cereal
Dust clumps from under the refrigerator
Coconut hulls
Dead flies and bugs from the windowsill
Peanut butter sandwiches

What Does Not Rot

Man-made fabric or substances

Stinky Rotters

Some items are more likely to attract pests and create the odors many home composting people fear. Depending upon the circumstances of the compost-maker, some compost items may be more desirable than others. Ed Bruske suggests to avoid fast decayers like:

Meat scraps

The kitchen scraps will decay and eventually take up less space in the bin. The best compost pile will have a balance between carbon and nitrogen. Carbon elements include brown material like meals, coffee, and tea. Nitrogen sources include vegetables. The compost will break down so that it’s taking half the volume it had previously required. Turning it with a small garden shovel, in order to give air to all the elements, will speed the process. Commercial activators can expedite the process considerably. Compost can be ready to use in as little as a month.

Related Youtube Videos:

Composting – An Alternative To Dumping Kitchen Scraps



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