How to Store Home Compost


Composting kitchen scraps and yard debris not only creates nutrient-rich soil for your plants, it also reduces the volume of trash in landfills. Many U.S. cities are introducing composting programs along with recycling and trash collection. Perhaps you want to start composting on your own. Storing compost properly means finding a way to keep the smell down while letting scraps and debris decompose well enough to be used in the garden.

Indoor Compost Storage

Step 1

Drill six to eight holes to the lid of a small plastic trash bin and glue a large green scouring pad to the inside of the lid over the holes. This will allow air to reach the scraps (which will keep the smell down) while discouraging flies. You can store several days' worth of kitchen compost in the bin.

Step 2

Put fruit and vegetable scraps, leftover bread and pasta, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea leaves in the kitchen compost bin. Do not put any meat, fish or dairy scraps in the bin or it will smell bad and attract scavengers and the wrong kinds of bacteria.

Step 3

Dump the kitchen scraps into your outdoor compost heap once or twice a week. Rinse out or knock away scraps stuck to the inside of the bin. Wash out your indoor compost bin at least once a month.

Outdoor Compost Storage

Step 1

Keep outdoor compost in a large plastic storage bin or trash can if you don't have a lot of outdoor storage space. Drill several holes into the lid and along the sides of the bin to allow for effective air circulation. Compost items need air to decompose well and to prevent anaerobic bacteria growth, which is what makes compost smell bad.

Step 2

Drill holes in the bottom of the bin to allow for drainage. Compost needs to be kept damp, but standing water in the bottom will prevent good decomposition.

Step 3

Make a simple compost bin out of chicken wire if you have a larger garden space. Use a 12-foot piece of chicken wire that is at least 3 feet high with 1- or 2-inch mesh. Bend the chicken wire into a cylinder and attach the ends together with twist ties or string.

Step 4

Place the chicken wire compost container on a flat surface where it can drain well.

Step 5

Put kitchen scraps and yard debris like leaves and grass cuttings into the compost bin. Don't put large branches or plants with thick stems into the mix without breaking them up first because these do not decompose well

Step 6

Turn the compost with a shovel or digging fork about once a month to speed up decomposition. Make sure the compost is uniformly damp if there is not much rainfall in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Small, plastic trash bin
  • Drill
  • Green scouring pad
  • Glue
  • Large plastic storage bin or trash can
  • Chicken wire
  • Twist ties
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Digging fork


  • Greentheo
  • You Grow Girl
  • City of Boston

Who Can Help

  • How To Compost Food Scraps
Keywords: home compost storage, kitchen scraps, compost bin

About this Author

Sarah Metzker Erdemir is an expat writer and ESL teacher living in Istanbul since 2002. A fiction writer for more than 25 years, she began freelance writing and editing in 2000. Ms. Metzker Erdemir holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Romance languages and linguistics as well as a TESOL Master of Arts degree. She has written articles for eHow, Garden Guides, and ConnectEd.