Connecticut Garden Journal: Food Scrap Composting | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Food Scrap Composting

Oct 29, 2020

It's estimated in Connecticut, that 22 percent of the waste we send to landfills is food scraps. That's a shame because all those food scraps can be turned into compost to feed our gardens.

Food scrap composting is not a new idea, but many gardeners avoid it because of the potential hassle and mess. But we've been doing it for years with good success.

We use a square, plastic commercial compost box to decompose our food scraps, but you can also use compost tumblers. The square box has a door on the bottom to remove finished compost without having to remove all the food scraps. The tumbler allows you to mix the food scraps so they compost faster and it stands off the ground making it hard for animals to get inside.

We compost all food scraps except bones, meats, fish and oils. We have a metal compost bucket in the kitchen where we toss everything from fruit and veggie scraps to coffee grounds. When filled we dump it into the bin outside. The key to success is to add a handful of dried organic materials every time you add your bucket of food scraps. This will balance the wet, high nitrogen food scraps with the dry, high carbon dried materials. Some good dried materials include hay, straw, chopped leaves, and shredded newspaper.

We remove finished compost from the door twice a year; in early summer and fall. This makes room for new food scraps in the box. Some food scraps, such as avocado skins and corn cobs, may still be in tact. We just toss those back in the bin.