by Naomi Mihilewicz
Easy Home Composting
Composting at our house is an integral part of reducing our garbage down to where our bin is emptied only once a year. Our compost yields usable landscaping soil - a far cry better than hauling out stinky garbage!
We keep a compost pail on our kitchen counter. Filling it up and taking it out to the bin are part of life and don’t require much effort. The veggie trimmings have to go somewhere, so no difference to me to put them in the compost pail, not the garbage. The pail gets full and has to be taken out eventually - same as a garbage would. I just take the compost out every few days and the garbage stays mostly empty.
The bonus effect of putting food scraps in the compost is that our garbage rarely smells. Our one little garbage can on the main floor will sit there politely for a month before it is full and needs to be taken out.
My hints for easy home composting:
- Save a bag or two of leaves in the fall. Every time you add food scraps, add an equal amount of leaves.
- Keep going the same way through the winter; the scraps and leaves will freeze, but come spring they’ll thaw and begin to compost.
- Over the summer, let rain water keep your compost moist. Having a no-top compost bin or a wire mesh top works best. You will want a way to keep the snow out for the winter though, or it will fill up your bin!
- Some of the more interesting things that I put in our compost: wax paper from subs/pitas, compostable take-out containers, paper napkins and toothpicks.
Anybody who thinks composting is ‘hard work’ hasn’t seen how little time I put into it! My compost is a waste diversion tool and I’m always willing to try composting something instead of throwing it out. We have a backyard, so we do outdoor composting, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t - there’s always vermicomposting!
(Source: June 2011 WasteWatch)
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