Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

Kitchen Composting

1/17/2013 10:06:00 AM

Tags: kitchen compost, composting, compost, food waste

How can I keep kitchen scraps indoors for a few days without odor or fruit flies developing? kitchen composting in a sealable bag 

You don’t need a fancy compost pail with a filter to keep your kitchen compost odor- and fly-free. One easy option for kitchen composting is to put food waste into a large, sealable plastic bag. To save space and speed decomposition, you can chop up the larger pieces of waste before adding them to the bag. Keep the bagged scraps refrigerated until you’re ready to add them to your outdoor compost pile.

Another option is a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Line the bottom with a few sheets of newspaper, then fill a separate container with carbonaceous materials, such as sawdust, leaves, shredded newspaper or garden soil. Keep both containers in the garage or just outside your back door. Dump food waste in the large plastic bucket, then top it with a thin layer of the carbonaceous material, which will control odors and fruit flies and will balance the high-nitrogen materials. Stir occasionally, keeping the bucket tightly closed the rest of the time. When the container is full, add the contents to your outdoor compost pile.

You could also consider vermicomposting (worm composting), which you can do indoors. Read more about it in How to Set Up a Simple, Homemade Vermicomposting Bin.

— Vicki Mattern, Contributing Editor

Above: Collecting kitchen scraps in a plastic bag will help keep rotten odors and fruit flies at bay. 

Photo Courtesy iStockphoto.com/Lucentius 


Vicki Mattern is a contributing editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, book editor and freelance magazine writer. She has edited or co-authored seven books on gardening, and lives and works from her home in northwestern Montana. You can find Vicki on .



Related Content

Why We Use Bamboo for the Natural Home Kitchenware Line

Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.

Spotlight on Earth Stewardship: Eric Stevens

This will be an ongoing series, which pays homage to Eco-conscious individuals by sharing their stor...

Quick Compost

Freezing compostable material creates five favorable conditions to speed the decomposition process a...

3 Ways to Compost

Three easy ways to compost in small spaces and with little effort.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Tina DiBlasio Schantz
1/31/2013 1:09:35 AM
is it bad to add baking soda to the compost pile? I thought of sprinkling it into my kitchen scraps periodically to keep the odors away.

Alec Long
1/31/2013 1:08:09 AM
For years we bought Maxwell House coffee (we've since switched brands) in those blue plastic tubs. I kept a bunch of them. Turns out they make great storage containers for my tool bench and--since they have built-in handles and lids--they make an ideal countertop compost bucket. No fruit flies! And when they start to get stanky, just wash them out with hot soapy water. Good as new!







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.