How to compost food scraps

No matter how good you are at making portions when you cook there is always going to be some food scrap left over. Where it is because of the preparation or because someone did not eat everything off their plate there is something left. You don’t have to feel like you are being wasteful with those scraps you can compost them. Here are some basics to get you started with composting.


1)      Very important make sure you check with your local waste management company to see what kinds of composting is allowed in your area. Some cities or counties do not allow open pile composting.

2)      Know what you should put in your pile: Not all household foods should be composted. A basic list of what should be composted is as follows:

  • Greens
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Old bread and crackers
  • Grains like rice or barley
  • Coffee grounds, juicing pulp
  • Old herbs and spices
  • Egg shells (well crushed)

3)      Know what you shouldn’t compost: There are things that are bad for the pile. They either do not break down well, cause smell or worse they will attract pests.

  • Meat waste of any kind, including fish
  • Dairy
  • Pet waste
  • Oils and greases
  • Any none organic materials

4)      Have a plan: One of the most important things you can do is have a plan for your composting. Know if you are going to use a bin, or maybe even an indoor bucket. Know where you will store your food scraps and about how long it will take to fill the bucket before you go out and add the scraps to the pile. It is advisable not to keep those scraps in the house to long because they may start to smell.

5)      Know about the browns: While food scraps are easy to come by and the bulk of what many want to add to the pile you need to have a balance. If you do not have free access to as steady supply of browns (dry leaves, cardboard, newspaper) from your own home know where you can get them. Having a balance pile is the key to proper decomposition with little smell.

6)      Be ready to turn and add moisture: Many first time home composters forget these two important steps. For the bacteria to thrive and the heat to be kept right the pile needs these two steps, you must turn it occasionally to move the core out and get the heat spread throughout. There must also be moisture, you want to be careful that it is not swampy or soupy but just damp enough to have some moisture content.


Once you have done all the hard work of making the compost heap and making sure it is well tended, don’t forget to enjoy it. Helping the planet by composting is very rewarding. Helping your family be having a fresh garden using the compost you made is even better.

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