We hear a lot about compost these days: how it is great for gardens. It is, hands down, the best cheap (free) kitchen garden fertilizer. We’re told that compost is also great for the environment, keeping landfills free of unnecessary trash; however, keeping your collected food scraps in the kitchen can be smelly, messy, and inconvenient. One of the questions we hear often is: is there a good way to store compostable material? The answer is yes! We have a solution.
Try a compost bin. They fit in a modified 18” base cabinet, along with a traditional garbage bin.
Lift the lid and drop your food waste into the eco-friendly, biodegradable bag. Most modern bins come with a replaceable charcoal filter to cut down on smells. The ambitious recycler could install two 18” base cabinets, the other holding bins for aluminum cans and glass.
WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT COMPOST?
Compost creates beneficial humus for gardens and even lawns. It brings nutrients to plants and, with water at a premium, helps soil retain moisture. Compost does for soil what yogurt does for the body. It introduces the right mix of microscopic bacteria which help aerate soil, breaking down organic materials that help plants grow and stay disease free.
Decomposed food waste helps to preserve our environment. Fully one-third of landfill waste is comprised of compostable materials. By using compost instead of chemical fertilizers, you are replacing organic material with new organic material, rather than introducing possibly toxic chemicals into the environment.
WHAT GOES INTO THE COMPOST BIN?
You can compost pretty much any kitchen food waste, except for meat, bones, fish scraps, or pet manures. Peeling carrots and potatoes for dinner? Throw the peels into the bin. Cracking eggs for a Sunday omelet? Throw the shells into the bin. Do you arrange flowers? Put washed cuttings into the bin. Wood ash, tea leaves, coffee grounds, table scraps; they all go into the bin.
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY COLLECTED COMPOST?
Start a compost pile in your back yard!
- Create a small area in a corner of your yard. Clear the ground so that your compost pile is built on bare earth. This allows for worms and beneficial organisms already in the soil help in the decomposition process.
- Lay down some twigs or straw. This is for drainage and aeration, preventing too much mold and allowing your compost to properly decompose.
- Throw your bags of compostable waste onto the pile. Do the research to ensure the bags you use breakdown quickly.
- Keep the pile damp. If you aren’t having a rainy fall and winter, just hose it down every few weeks. Toss the bags around a little with a pitchfork every month.
- By the following summer, you should have a pile of lovely, nutritious humus to spread all over your rose garden or across your lawn.
Bottom line, composting can help your bottom line by allowing you to use a smaller garbage can (the utility company will change less for a smaller can) and providing free fertilizer for your garden and lawn. Keep your compost and recyclables hidden from view by installing specially designed base cabinets in your new kitchen.