Food waste and scraps account for about 25% of our landfill. Some people assume that this food will easily decompose into the ground – thus causing no problem – however that is untrue. Landfills are designed to prevent leakage. If extracted, a banana peel that was tossed away ten years ago will therefore likely look the exact same today. So what to do? Compost! Composting is an easy, cheap way to prevent food from entering our trash while also creating nutritious soil that can feed your garden. In my house, we use a simple canister on our sink and a large tumbler in our yard. (An old stock pot with lid will work for your sink-top bucket as well.) After the initial set-up, you treat your compost like your trash and recycling; it goes out daily and becomes part of your routine. All you need to do is balance green matter (food scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds and egg shells – omit meat and dairy!) with brown matter (leaves, grass clippings, toilet paper rolls and cardboard egg cartons), and let nature do the work! No grass, worms or magic beans required! Make sure to turn your tumbler every few days. After a few weeks, you will see your compost start to appear! If you want more information, the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District offers free online seminars.
Want to compost but would rather not buy a tumbler? Try a compost service. Questions? Please comment below. We are happy to help you! – Rachel