Thursday, September 29, 2011

Keeping the Kitchen Clean with Composting

Is that the garbage truck? Do I have the wrong day? No? Either way, a mad dash to the get the trash out is a thing of history. I haven’t done that in a long time, ever since we started composting. There is freedom in that.

While a person might worry that backyard composting will attract vermin, or that the compost bucket will be a smelly eyesore, or that emptying it will somehow be a bigger chore than remembering to empty the garbage or chasing down the garbage truck in your bathrobe, in my experience composting has made these things better, not worse. Because there is no waiting for (or missing) garbage day, food scraps will neither stink up the kitchen nor entice critters in the alley.

If you really want to keep things tidy, line the compost bucket with a sheet of newspaper. This will keep it cleaner longer. Or, try covering the food prep area with a newspaper and collect food scraps there. The cost of making a mess is zero. Simply roll up the paper and place it in the compost bucket when it's time to clean up.

As a bonus, using newspapers like this will help keep your compost pile balanced as it needs both “green” material such as food scraps, and “brown” material such as leaves or newspapers.

For more information about how to get started composting, visit the Gardening Matters website.

Line the compost bucket with a sheet of newspaper. Personally, I found that lids and filters for compost buckets aren't necessary and just get in the way.

When lined with paper, the bucket stays cleaner longer.

Cover your food prep space with newspaper.

Collect food scraps on the newspaper. There is a lot of room for error.

Covering the backsplash with newspaper will keep it cleaner.

To clean up, roll up the newspaper with the food scraps...

...and place it in the compost bucket.