How long have you been composting at home?
- We started composting about 20 years ago, when we bought our first house (with a yard), after years of living in apartments and townhouses. My family didn’t compost growing up, but I also don’t remember having a lot of leftovers or food waste in a house with 8 kids!
Why did you start composting?
- I definitely started composting for environmental reasons. I didn’t want to put food and yard waste to decompose inside of a plastic bag!
- My family is supportive, although it is really my thing. I do most of the cooking, and I collect most of the scraps. The trip to the compost bin isn’t that much trouble, but I definitely don’t do it every day.
What's your system for collecting food scraps?
- I keep a small compost container in the kitchen, with a carbon filter. If I’m doing a lot of cooking, I will use a paper bag and take it to the composter when it’s full, dumping it in, bag and all.
- I try to take it down to the composter every day, although when I forget it on the deck, we sometimes get critters – especially in the summer, so I really try to make it a daily habit.
How is your compost system set up?
- We have a black plastic “soil saver” bin that we inherited from the previous homeowner when we moved here about 15 years ago. The one we left behind at our old house was nicer, but this one works!
- I am not a composting nerd – I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the recipe or how to get the most out of it. I don’t turn it. I literally just dump my scraps in there and Nature does the work. I do add the brown paper bags and some dry grass or leaves because I think they help with mitigating any smell.
Do you compost through the winter?
- We do compost through the winter. I go down there less often and the materials decompose a lot slower! At this point (May) it is pretty full with yard/garden clippings and food scraps. In the summer, I put so much more food and yard waste in and it “cooks” down so that it is always less than ½ full.
Have you had any problems?
- We haven’t really had any problems except a few critters getting to the compost on our deck when I forget to take it down to the shed.
Do you use your finished compost on your yard or compost just as a way to manage food scraps?
- I don’t use the finished compost as much as I should. I will say that I have filled that thing hundreds of times over the years without taking anything out.
What do you like about composting?
- Composting aligns with my values and environmental concerns. It’s easy and I like minimizing our trash. It also makes me far more conscious of my purchasing choices around packaging since that’s pretty much all that goes into our trash.
What would you say to encourage someone who is hesitant to start composting?
- I am always surprised when people tell me that they don’t compost! It is such an easy way to make a huge impact.
Anything else you want to share?
- I think some people are concerned about the cost or the smell or the effort – and I would say that I don’t have issues with any of those things. Of course, you can spend the money on a “nice” compost bin but you can also make one from chicken wire! We don’t have any issue with the smell – even when it’s full. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.