How to Compost Food at Home


Kitchen food waste makes a nutritious addition to a compost pile--as long as the food is vegan. Compost piles are best at decomposing plant materials: vegetable and fruit trimmings, paper and even coffee grounds. Non-vegan material like grease, fat, meat, bones and dairy products take too long to decompose. And they attract animals and other pests to your compost pile. For the quickest and most nutritious compost, keep those food sources out of your compost pile.

Step 1

Cut the food to be composted in the smallest pieces possible. The smaller the pieces in a compost pile, the more quickly they decompose.

Step 2

Collect your kitchen scraps in a counter compost container with a lid. This can simply be a large plastic container or a ceramic kitchen compost crock equipped with carbon filters to reduce any smell.

Step 3

Take your full kitchen scrap container outside and add it to your compost bin or pile.

Step 4

Add twice the amount by volume of brown, carbon-rich material like hay, straw, dried leaves, bark or old newspaper.

Step 5

Add a handful of garden soil or non-sterilized potting soil to the compost pile to introduce a fresh supply of the microorganisms responsible for turning compost into humus.

Step 6

Use a shovel to turn the compost pile and mix its ingredients thoroughly.

Step 7

Repeat Steps 3 through 6 until your compost pile has reached between 3 and 5 cubic feet. Then stop adding material but continue to turn your compost pile until it turns to humus.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Compost crock
  • Compost bin
  • Garden soil
  • Potting soil


  • Compost Council of Canada: At Home with Composting
  • Strathcona County: Composting
Keywords: compost food, how to compost, compost kitchen

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.