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Composting Food Scraps

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

One of the great benefits of composting is that you can reduce your household waste by adding food scraps to the compost bin. Honestly, between composting and recycling, there's very little that goes in the trash can at my house! Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your food scraps for compost.


One of the great benefits of composting is that you can reduce your household waste by adding food scraps to the compost bin. Honestly, between composting and recycling, there's very little that goes in the trash can at my house! Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your food scraps for compost.

For compost, all food waste is not created equal. The best options to add to your bin are waste products that come from plants. This includes not only vegetable peels, but grains, such as rice, barley or oats. Meats and oils are biodegradable, but you want to avoid adding those items to your compost bin because they will stink as they go rancid before degrading. For that reason, avoid adding cooked foods that have oils added, such as oatmeal prepared with butter or veggies cooked in oil. Fresh veggie peels and naturally prepared grains are the best bet. I also like to remove the seeds from scraps like tomatoes and peppers to avoid an infestation of volunteer plants when I finally add the compost to my garden.

Adding food to your compost bin can happen daily. I keep an old plastic coffee can on my counter to store compostables and I usually empty out the can into my compost bin after dinner. Even if you don't create enough food waste to require a daily dump, bring out what you have on a daily basis or it will begin to decompose in the small storage container.

Of course, one of the risks of adding foods to the compost bin is odor, which can attract insects and other pests to your compost heap. This can be avoided by keeping the right ratio of brown and green compostables. When you add food waste to compost, be sure to bury it underneath brown material, like dry leaves or paper. An easy way to integrate food scraps is to wrap them in newspaper before depositing in the compost bin.
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