Monday, February 11, 2013

Countertop Compost

I've been taking my compost to the Greenmarket for nearly 6 months now, but I upgraded my home compost collection a few weeks ago.

I used to collect my compost in a brown paper bag in the freezer.  This was great for controlling the smell, but less great in terms of having useable freezer space.  And if I produced a lot of scraps that week, the bag might not fit very well.

Enter the countertop compost bin.  I found it on sale at TJ Maxx when I was home at Christmas, and got it at an even lower price because someone had stolen the charcoal filters that are supposed to come with it.  I found some cheap filters on Amazon, and set myself up a few weeks ago:

It turned out that the filters I got were the wrong size, so I just sewed one into the lid of the pail.  Thus far it's worked out pretty well, and I like having my freezer space back.

Although my goal was to stop using a brown paper bag for my compost every week, it turns out that composting in a pail still requires some extra paper.  Because I'm only taking the compost out every week or two, I have to line the bin with paper.  I use about 1/3 of a brown paper back, torn up.  Newspaper would work too.
This helps keep food from sticking to the bottom of the pail, and absorbs some of the liquid from wet food scraps and general decomposition. 

The only problem I've had so far was when I threw a couple of moldy items in, and then wasn't able to take the compost out for 2 weeks.  Everything got moldy, and the smell permeated the filter a little bit, and when I finally got to the Greenmarket, there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom.  The compost guy told me it's not a harmful kind of mold, but it was just a little gross.  The label on the pail said only to wipe it out with a damp rag, but it got washed with dish soap that day.

1 comment:

  1. The year we lived in a city, we made a compost worm bin out of a cat litter container (using a drill for holes in the appropriate places). That was pretty cool. Here we just keep stuff on a plate or bowl next to the sink and take it outside to the compost pile once a day.