How to SAFELY Compost in Your Kitchen

( – Kitchen composting is a great way to turn food scraps into nutrient-rich, naturally-fertilized soil for your houseplants, patio garden, or lawn. Not a gardener? Don’t despair! You can always offer your compost to loved ones who are plant enthusiasts or donate it to a local community garden. You’ll be reducing your waste, enriching the environment, and helping your community, too– all from one little kitchen composting project!

According to the EPA, “Composting is a controlled, aerobic (oxygen-required) process that converts organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil amendment or mulch through natural decomposition.” Composting is a sustainable way to turn your food trash into gardening treasure.

You don’t have to have a big property or be an avid gardener to compost. You can easily recycle your food scraps right in your kitchen using an indoor composting bin. Let’s take a look at what you can compost, what you can’t, and how to get started on your own kitchen composting adventure.

What You Can (and Can’t) Compost

In order to get started, you’ll need carbon-rich materials, nitrogen-rich materials, moisture, and air to create the right conditions for food scraps to break down into rich soil. You don’t have to be a scientist to know what food scraps qualify. Let’s review the basic rules of what can and can’t be composted.

You can safely add vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, eggshells, paper filters, brown paper bags, dry leaves, and yard clippings to your kitchen compost. You’ll want to avoid adding meat products, bones, dairy products, pet waste, treated paper or wood, cooked food, or diseased plants.

Best Practices for Kitchen Composting

There are some best practices you can use to safely compost in your kitchen. By following these guidelines, you can reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich fertilizer and mulch for your lawn or garden.

Avoid Plastic Containers

Plastic containers are common, but they may not be the most advantageous for indoor composting. The porous surface of plastic can often absorb smells. Optpt for an easy-to-access metal container instead.

Empty Your Bins Regularly

To safely compost in your home kitchen, don’t forget to empty your bins regularly. This will help reduce the risk of pests. You can empty your bins every few days or once a week, depending on how much composting material you’re adding to it. You can have a designated compost pile in your yard to deposit your kitchen compost. You may want to keep it covered to keep out wildlife. If you compost in an apartment or don’t have access to a yard, you can distribute the contents of your bin directly into your houseplants or patio garden and cover them with soil.

Keep Your Containers Clean

If you’re using compostable bags, you’ll want to make sure that your food scraps don’t end up all over your chosen bin. Wash the bin regularly after emptying it to keep it clean and free of pests. Part of keeping your composting bin clean and orderly is making sure that you provide a good mix of moist and dry kitchen scraps. Too much moisture can attract bugs, and too little can prevent the compost from breaking down efficiently. A smelly bin may be the result of a lack of balance between your wet and dry organic materials.

Consider Blending

You can blend up the food scraps from your compost bin to expedite the breakdown of food scraps into rich soil. This can also make it easier to add to a worm farm bin, another way you can utilize your kitchen food scraps. You can blend up the collected scraps from your composting bin and deposit them in a worm farm bin to produce “worm tea”, a natural liquid fertilizer that comes when the worms digest the scraps you’ve composted.

Safe composting doesn’t have to be a huge, time-consuming, or expensive undertaking, and you don’t have to worry about smells or pests when you follow these tips. Once you’ve found the right bin, you can get started on your home composting adventure today. You’ll reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich fertilizer right in your own kitchen.

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