How to Compost Household Foods

Overview

Large, outdoor compost bins require a particular ratio of carbon-based material and nitrogen-based material to aerobically compost food. The compost-able, organic waste that comes out of most kitchens is almost all nitrogen-based. And the average household does not produce enough dried plant material or hay to meet the carbon needs of an outdoor compost bins. Aerobic, Bokashi indoor bins are the best way to compost household items. These compost bins compost anaerobically, and are designed to handle nitrogen-rich food scraps. Plus, they are small enough to fit comfortably in most kitchens and feature an air-tight lid for low- to no-odor composting.

Step 1

Shred a few sheets of newspaper and line the bottom of your Bokashi bin with a 2-inch layer of shredded pieces.

Step 2

Sprinkle a 1/4-inch layer of Bokashi mixture onto the newspaper.

Step 3

Add a 2-inch layer of finely chopped, compost-able household foods. Keep a small, lidded plastic container (enough to hold a 2-inch layer of scraps) in your kitchen and add compost-able household foods as they become available. Once it is full, add its contents to your compost bin. Do not open your Bokashi bin's lid more than once per day.

Step 4

Cover the food layer with a thin layer of Bokashi mixture.

Step 5

Seal the lid.

Step 6

Drain the "compost tea" that collects in the bottom of the Bokashi composter. Place a small container underneath the spigot. Then pull the spigot out and allow the liquid to drain until it stops. The frequency with which you need to drain will depend on how quickly you add material to the bin. Check for fluid once weekly.

Step 7

Repeat Steps 1 through 6 until your Bokashi bin is full. Then leave the lid closed for two weeks. Extract the compost and mix it into the top few inches of your garden's soil. Allow the compost to decompose for another two weeks before planting seeds in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Bokashi compost bin and included Bokashi mixture
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • 2 small plastic containers

References

  • Compost Guy: Bokashi
  • Clean Air Gardening: Indoor Kitchen Composter
  • Charles Sturt University: The Bokashi Bucket Kitchen Waste Recycling System
Keywords: Bokashi bin, anaerobic compost, compost household foods

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.