Connecticut Garden Journal: Recycle Kitchen Scraps By Composting | Connecticut Public Radio
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Connecticut Garden Journal: Recycle Kitchen Scraps By Composting

Nov 12, 2015

Good compost is made from a mix of high carbon and nitrogen materials, air, and moisture.
Credit U.S. Dept. of Agriculture flickr.com/photos/usdagov / Creative Commons

As we try to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, laws now mandate the recycling of plastics, paper, and yard products such as leaves and grass clippings.

Composting is one the best ways to reuse grass clippings and leaves to benefit your plants. But we should also be composting food scraps from the kitchen as well.

Composting food scraps is easy, and just requires the right method and commitment.

An easy way to compost food scraps (except bones, meats, fatty foods, and fish) is to have a compost bucket on your counter to toss in food scraps as you cook.

Every few days, empty the bucket into a compost bin in your yard. Plastic compost bins are fine, but to make compost quickly, use a composting barrel or tumbler.

Here's a tip on composting food scraps: Good compost is made from a mix of high carbon and nitrogen materials, air, and moisture. Most of the food waste we create in our kitchens is high in moisture and nitrogen. While it break downs quickly, it also can be smelly and fly-ridden.

Kitchen compost.
Credit Christian Guthier flickr.com/photos/wheatfields / Creative Commons
Credit mystuart (on and off) flickr.com/photos/melystu/14264819172 / Creative Commons

To avoid these problems, add a layer of a high-carbon materials such as sawdust, coir, peat moss, shredded leaves or newspaper every time you add food scraps. These materials will absorb excess moisture and balance all the nitrogen in those scraps.

Once your box or barrel is filled with these layers, mix them together and let it sit all winter.

Start filling another composter with food scraps to use throughout the winter. By next summer, your first batch should be ready.

Next week, I’ll be talking about succulents. Until then, I’ll be seeing you in the garden.