While we aim to use all of the food we buy, and use tricks to keep our produce lasting longer, there are some items that either can’t be used or don’t get used in time. For those items, we compost – not only because in Vermont, composting is a law – but also because it keeps down on trash and makes our trash not smell as bad. Many people struggle with composting, knowing what to compost and how to compost. It’s fairly simple provided you have a local organization that takes compost.
Before composting, be sure to check with the place you intend to bring your compost to ensure you follow their rules (some allow meat, some do not; some allow compost bags, some do not; etc.); they should have a poster ready to provide to you upon request. Our local place didn’t have a poster that we could take home, so we just took a picture of the one they had hanging up and made our own poster to print at home:
We have a countertop bucket (like this one) that we keep out on the kitchen counter while cooking to discard scraps, like the ends of onions, ginger peels, carrots tops, etc. We line the inner black bucket with a compost bag (like these) for easy disposal. Once we have filled the countertop bucket or are done cooking for a while, we bring it down to our 5 gallon buckets that we keep in our garage. We got them at our local Aubuchon’s along with screw-top lids for them (like these). Here our compost sits until we go to the dump, as our local dump takes not only trash and recycling, but also compost. We find that we fill a single 5 gallon bucket about every 4 weeks, as a family of 2 that meal plans. The only real maintenance we have to do is occasionally hose out the 5 gallon buckets and just rinse the kitchen black bucket. The compost bags really help to keep the kitchen bucket clean so that we aren’t having to wash it constantly.
And that’s all there is to composting, at least for us here in Vermont where there are many places that take compost (and just like recycling, for FREE). It’s a great way to not only comply with the law, but to save on trash and keep the smelly things out of the trash so we don’t have to take it out as often.