How To Compost Food Waste


Anyone who cooks at home will have food waste to dispose of. Instead of throwing food waste into the garbage, many people are now composting the scraps either for their own gardens or for community programs designed for local compost piles. Compost benefits soil by adding in nutrients that help fertilize the ground giving any plants grown an additional boost. No special equipment is needed to compost food waste at home.

Create a Compost Pail

Step 1

Locate a wide-mouthed plastic bucket or jug. You can also use a coffee can. Any container with a tight fitting lid will work fine.

Step 2

Place the bucket next to the kitchen sink on the countertop. Having the bucket handy will help remind you to use it.

Step 3

Toss kitchen waste and scrap into the bucket when preparing foods. This can include eggshells, vegetable and fruit peelings, coffee grounds, cooked leftovers and stale bakery products.

Direct Garden Method

Step 1

Dig a hole in an unused area of the garden at least 1-foot deep.

Step 2

Place the contents of the compost pail in the bottom of the hole.

Step 3

Break the food waste up into tiny pieces using the edge of the shovel blade.

Step 4

Cover the food waste with at least 8 inches of dirt.

Step 5

Wait at least a month to till or otherwise plant in the soil above the food waste.

In a Compost Pile

Step 1

Toss food waste from the bucket into the compost pile as necessary.

Step 2

Bury the food waste in the compost pile by using the shovel to turn existing compost over the food scraps.

Step 3

Add green and brown yard waste to the pile regularly and allow the pile to decompose for at least a year before using.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost pail
  • Outdoor compost pile (optional)
  • Shovel


  • Washington State University: Kitchen Waste Composting
  • University of Missouri: Making and Using Compost
Keywords: compost kitchen waste, food waste compost, composting food waste

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.