How to Compost Kitchen Waste

Overview

If you throw out your food scraps or wash them down the garbage disposal, they end up in the landfill, totally wasted. Instead of trashing this useful organic matter, why not turn it into fresh compost to fertilize your garden? You will be doing your part to help the environment and help nourish your plants at the same time.

Step 1

Get a small container with a lid for kitchen scraps. A coffee can, bucket or any other durable, portable container will work.

Step 2

Put kitchen scraps into your kitchen compost container. Any food scraps except for meats, oily food and milk products are compostable. That means fruit and vegetable peelings and rinds, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds, bread and pasta and even paper napkins can all go into your compost bucket. Do not put in anything plastic or plastic-coated.

Step 3

Decide whether you want to bury your compost or establish a compost bin. Burying allows you to stow and forget your compost, and requires less work than a compost bin. A compost bin, however, allows you to use the compost more easily for fertilizing your garden and to add to it continually.

Burying Kitchen Compost

Step 1

Use a shovel to dig a hole at least 1 foot deep in an unused section of your garden once you accumulate 3 to 4 inches of scraps in the bottom of your kitchen bucket. The hole should be about the diameter of your bucket.

Step 2

Empty the compost into the hole. Use the shovel to break it up and mix it in with the dirt at the bottom.

Step 3

Cover the compost completely with the dirt you just dug out. Ideally, there should be 8 inches of dirt on top of it.

Step 4

Leave the spot undisturbed for a growing. It will take from two to six months for the compost to break down.

Compost Bin

Step 1

Buy or make a compost bin. To make one, get a foot-tall bucket or other container with a lid and poke several holes in the top and bottom. Put the bin in a shaded spot in your back yard.

Step 2

Add wet but not soaked sawdust, newspaper, leaves or cardboard as bedding. Fill the bin to near the top.

Step 3

Add a pound of red wriggler worms.

Step 4

Every day, take your kitchen scraps and dump them into the compost bin. Put the scraps in different parts of the bin each time to speed up composting. Add more water if the bin looks too dry and cover it again.

Step 5

Take the compost the worms produce out in one to two months and place it on the ground. The worms will crawl down to get out of the sun. When they do, scrape off the top layer of dirt. Repeat until all the warms are in a small bit of compost. Then, return the worms in the remaining compost to the bin and use the compost you scraped off for fertilizing plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee can
  • Bucket
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Compost bin
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper

References

  • Kingcounty.gov: Backyard Food Composting
  • Gardening.wsu.edu: Kitchen Waste Composting
Keywords: kitchen compost container, compost bucket, compost bin