Bin Composting

As part of my slightly less waste initiative, I decided to try composting. Although I had an “unofficial” compost pile at my old house (i.e., I threw scraps under the deck from time to time), I’ve never done it for realsies before. I did not want to go the “pile under the deck” route again, so I went with bins under the deck (under the deck so they’d be hidden away).

I can’t find the video I watched but basically it was some lady telling me to drill holes in a big plastic bin and throw all my stuff in it. According to various sites on the internet, you want to start your compost with: soil, green matter (wet or recently growing, e.g., plants, vegetables) and brown matter (dry or woody, e.g., wood chips, paper).

I was also told (by the internet) that for Maximum Compost Action you wanna turn your compost. You can do that with a pitchfork, but I was inspired by “compost tumblers” (compost bins that spin) and just decided to turn my bins over.

PRO-TIP: If you decide to just turn your bins over, make sure you get bins that have some sort of latching lid. One of my bins does not and turning it over without the whole thing coming open is an ordeal, especially considering I also have to slide it back under the deck.

The internet kept telling me that if my brown/green matter balance was right, the compost would not smell. I did not believe it. BUT IT’S TRUE! Every time I open the bin I brace myself for a horrible stench but it really just smells like dirt–at worst there is a light mildewy smell if the stuff is a little moldy (which apparently happens and is not a big deal). If it does smell, you’re just supposed to add more green or brown, whatever is missing.

The stuff in the original bin did start to break down and I’m excited to see what we get when it’s planting season again. I was so pleased with how it was going that I created two more bins with the plants we retired from the deck at the end of summer.

In terms of collecting scraps, I originally just drilled some holes in an empty protein powder jug and we used that. But it did stink up the joint. I ended up purchasing a countertop compost bin because it’s CUTE OK!?

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