Have you recently started composting or are planning to start soon?
Do you have a lot of kitchen waste that goes to the landfill?
Do you want to know if you can use these to create useful compost?
If you have never tried it out yet, this article can help you take your very first steps towards creating some really good and healthy compost using the waste that comes from your kitchen. In fact, you can use this article as a beginner’s guide to composting kitchen waste in easy steps.
Read about why kitchen waste can be such a good ingredient for creating compost and how you can use this compost once you have made it. Scroll through the detailed instructions on everything you will need and the complete how-to to create compost using kitchen waste.
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Is food really known as a common thing to add to compost?
One of the most basic rules of composting is that, if something has once lived, or if it has come from the ground originally, you can use it as an ingredient for composting.
Can all food be composted?
You can compost almost all the food that would otherwise go to waste. Here is a list of some of the most common food wastes that you can use as good ingredients for creating the compost:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Skins and peels of fruits and vegetables
- Eggshells that are very finely grounded
- Coffee grounds
- Shells from nuts that are grounded
How are food scraps beneficial to a compost pile?
1. Reduces the use of chemical fertilizers:
- When you use the waste from your kitchen to create compost, you automatically reduce the need of any fertilizers for your plants.
- Instead of the harmful chemicals and toxins from these fertilizers, you can add natural goodness to your plants.
2. Adds more nutrients to the soil:
- Your kitchen waste is a great source of nitrogen which is very important in improving the quality of the compost.
- This waste helps to produce beneficial fungi and bacteria, which then break down the organic matter and create humus, which is loaded with nutrients.
- As a result, it also helps add more nutrients to the plant when you add it with soil.
3. Reduces emissions in landfills:
- Throwing your kitchen waste into the bin means it will directly go to the landfills, which will give rise to a large number of methane emissions.
- Instead, when you use this to compost, you reduce these emissions and help to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Once you start creating compost at home, you will not need to buy any fertilizers from the market.
- This means that you end up saving money and reuse what you already have at home.
Are there ways that food waste can negatively affect compost too?
While most food waste will create lovely and healthy compost, it is best to avoid some food types, as they can lead to odour and also attract flies and pests. Avoid food wastes such as:
- Dairy products
- Oils, fats or grease
- Meat or seafood remains and bones
How do you compost food? (QUICK & EASY)
There are many ways in which you can easily compost your kitchen waste. You can do it indoors or outdoors, depending on the space you have, what is more convenient for you, and also the weather conditions you live in.
Composting food waste is a really easy process, as you have instant access to all the ingredients that you want to add in the compost mix.
Materials and Equipment
- Compost drum or bin
- A container in which you can collect the waste through the day
- Biodegradable wet waste
- Biodegradable dry waste such as dried leaves, shredded paper or sawdust
- Something which you can use to turn the mix (if you do not have a rotating compost bin)
Step by Step Instructions
1. Collect all your wet waste from your kitchen waste for the entire day so that by the end of the day, you have a good amount of wet waste to add in the compost pile.
2. Start making your compost mix by adding a layer of the dry or brown waste first to make the base of the compost pile.
3. The ratio should be about 75 percent wet waste and about 25 percent dry waste.
4. It is important that you keep the balance of the green and the brown waste as this can ensure that the composting process happens in the right way and the waste gets broken down faster, turning into compost.
5. Make sure that you cover the top of the compost bin to ensure that the contents inside stay moist.
6. You have to also turn the compost mix at least once every day. If you have a rotating compost bin, you can simply close it and give it a spin.
7. Once the mix inside the bin is dark and rich in colour and has a nice, crumbling texture, your compost mix is ready.
Buy a ready-made kitchen composter instead?
1. Alternatively, you can also get yourself a kitchen composter that will help to turn all your food waste into precious compost.
2. This means that you don’t have to go to the trouble of working on your waste while it is being turned into compost.
3. All you need to do is throw in the food scraps in the composter and in a few days you will get compost that you can use.
4. In fact, there are some kitchen composters that take only 24 hours to compost your kitchen waste in an easy, non-messy way.
5 Food Compost Tips to Keep it Healthy & Safe
- Do not add greasy food: These can end up attracting lots of pests and flies and may interfere with the composting process.
- Chop them up: This is a good way to speed up the composting process and also ensure that you get the right texture.
- Have a good nitrogen and carbon balance: The waste from the kitchen is rich in nitrogen. In addition, you have to add layers of brown material such as dead leaves to get the right nitrogen and carbon mix.
- Not sure about the purity? Avoid using: If you are not sure whether something you are adding in the compost mix has chemicals in it or not, avoid using it. This will prevent your compost mix from getting damaged and will retain the original nutrients.
- Keep it moist: Make sure that you regularly sprinkle the compost mix with water and keep it moist. Adding too much water will make it wet and not adding enough will make it dry, both of which will delay the composting process and will not give you the best quality compost.
The final compost will depend on various factors such as the quality of the ingredients that you are using, the way you are doing the composting process and also the kind of weather you are in.
So, even if the compost that you made with food scraps does not turn out absolutely great the first few times, don’t give up. Keep trying and soon, you will be rewarded with some amazing nutrient-rich compost for your plants.