How to Use a Compost Pail


Store vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, tea bags and meal remnants in a compost pail between trips to the compost bin. The items are collected for a few days before they are added to the compost bin. A compost pail is an ideal tool in the kitchen. Compostable kitchen scraps are placed in the pail to prevent odor and insect activity in the home. Small holes and charcoal keep the pail ingredients aerated and odor free. Pails are made from ceramic, polyethylene, stainless steel or a recycled plastic bucket.

Step 1

Place your compost pail in an easy-to-access location in the kitchen. It can be set on a counter top, under the sink or in the refrigerator. Read product instructions for the specific care of the unit.

Step 2

Place remnants from meals or snacks into the pail.

Step 3

Place the cover on the pail and keep it in place.

Step 4

Carry the filled pail to the compost. Dump the contents into the compost bin.

Step 5

Rinse the pail out and set it back into place in the kitchen. If you are using a unit that features a charcoal odor elimination system, clean the unit according to product directions. This will prevent possible fruit fly infestation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not put pieces of meat or fat into the compost pail. Meat, bones and fat decompose slowly, cause unpleasant odor and will draw animals to the compost pile. The pail is not a composting unit.


  • Compost Guide: Compost Pails
  • Home Composting Made Easy: Food Scraps

Who Can Help

  • Compost Bin Supply: Compost Material
Keywords: kitchen scraps, compost bin, recycling food scraps

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.