How to Compost Vegetable Garbage


The exact history of compost is unknown. References to forms of composting have been found that date to the Akkadian Empire, 1,000 years before the time of Moses, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Today, composting is known to be one of the best means of pest control and of returning nutrients to the soil by organic gardeners. Compost heaps are typically made of layers of carbon and carbohydrate-rich "brown" materials, such as dried straw or hay and dead leaves, and nitrogen-rich "green" matter, which includes grass clippings and clover as well as fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps.

Step 1

Place an old coffee can with a lid in your refrigerator to hold kitchen scraps.

Step 2

Place vegetable scraps in the can every time you prepare food. Examples of scraps include peels,

Step 3

Transfer contents of can to a gallon freezer bag and freeze until you have enough scraps for your compost heap.

Step 4

Drill holes throughout a 20-gallon garbage can, and place the can on cement blocks to allow for more efficient air flow.

Step 5

Place frozen vegetable scraps and dead leaves or hay in the trash can in a ratio of 5 to 8 parts brown material to one part vegetable scraps.

Step 6

Place the lid on the trash can and strap the lid in place using elastic tie downs.

Step 7

Turn the container end-over-end every few days.

Step 8

Wait approximately three months for green, soil-like compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee can
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Dead leaves or hay
  • 20-gallon trash can
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • 2 cinder blocks
  • Elastic tie downs


  • University of Illinois Extension: History of Composting
  • Plow & Hearth: Composting for Beginners

Who Can Help

  • Gathering in Light: How To Start a Compost Bin in the City (With Little Money)
Keywords: vegetable scraps, compost, green matter

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.