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Kitchen Compost bucket ideas?

 
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Hi all,

My son was thinking that it sure would be nice to have a compost bucket inside that everyone could easily access. Currently we dump our scraps into a coffee can and then take that to the pile once it gets filled up (so about 2x a day).

It isn't as easy to scrape the scraps into a coffee can as it is to scrape them into a trash can. (especially for my younger children.) So he he got to wondering, is there a way to put compost into a trash can / waste basket without having my kitchen stink? He was thinking something along the lines of the horrid diaper genie thingy. (sidenote-those things stink worse than the diapers. blech!)

anyone have any DIY compost bucket ideas they care to share?

 
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We use a two gallon plastic bucket with a metal lid. We dump every one to three days depending on the season...no meat or milk products...just vegetable scraps, some cooked food scraps and we avoid putting banana peels in...for some reason they smell it up almost immediately. I have several buckets so we can cycle through them and theres no odor build up. It sits on the counter. I know there are other nicer looking options but they all seem a little fussy to me.
 
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Location: Kent, South-east England, UK
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Hi

I like this one in the UK: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/20341/Compost-Caddy?src=gfeed&gclid=CMf1l_idpLMCFebLtAodrD4AmA NB I wouldn't agree with the customer at the bottom who gave it a low score - I never had the trouble with the filters that he had.

Obviously it is a commercial one but the principal is a bucket with a well-fitting lid and handle. The lid has a slatted hole in which you insert a charcoal-based filter. So perhaps it's something your son could make a version of, in a size that works for you? We are a two-person household using a lot of fresh veg, so depending on how many times we eat at home in a week, we empty it about once or twice a week. More if we have guests.

It does need cleaning out if you leave it for longer, so there is something to be said for your coffee can, which can never get too smelly and wet at the bottom as you are emptying it so frequently. If you aim to empty it every other day you should be fine. I've had no trouble with flies etc but sometimes it gets smelly if we haven't emptied it for a few days. The smell really only happens when you lift the lid! The filter means that in spite of the tight fit of the lid, the stuff inside is not degrading anaerobically.

Hope this helps!

Rosalind
 
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Location: South Central Kentucky
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You can also consider using carbon to soak up those unwanted odors. Top your additions to the bucket off with your composting medium and it should be stink-free. It also helps to put a layer on the bottom of the can before you start adding scraps, less yucky stuff stuck to the container when you forget it for a day or two. This can be a little difficult if you are tight on space, but a bucket of carbonaceous material stashed under the sink can be a lifesaver.
 
steward
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Karen, making sure I understand: do you mean just storage until it goes on a compost heap, or actually composting indoors?
If it's the former, mine sits in an open bucket in the cupboard under the sink, which makes it easy to lob teabags etc into!
I probably empty it every couple of days.
If it's the latter, I'd look into bokashi, as aerobic composting takes a fair amount of room.
 
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I've been composting kitchen scraps for over 6 years now; a plastic bucket I already had did the trick for a couple years, but then I broke the lid.

If you have a little bit of floor space to dedicate to a container, and you're ok buying something new, I have to recommend a model like this:

http://www.simplehuman.com/products/trash-cans/bathroom/plastic.html Or maybe you can find something like it at a rummage sale?

It's a big enough size that I don't have to empty it daily, which is a blessing in winter. But what I really like about it (and this is what got me to register on permies for the first time to make this recommendation) is being able to use your feet to open the lid. It might sound trivial, but being able to step open the lid and use both hands to scrape food adds up to serious ease-of-use.

I've been using it for at least four years and it hasn't cracked or anything. The liner inside can be removed and washed easily.

(I'm slightly embarassed my first post here sounds like an ad!)

 
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I just use a 10 litre bucket with a clip on lid tucks nicely under one of the chairs so it's not in the way
 
pollinator
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I just have a 1 gallon plastic plant pot in the garage, that is within throwing distance of the door (about 8 feet). It is sitting on top of a 5 gallon bucket of bird seed (keeps mice out). I used to always walk over to it and drop the stuff in, but over time I started just throwing it like a basketball, and now I hardly ever miss. I bet your kids would enjoy that too. Of course you can only throw things like apple cores, plum pits, paper towels, etc. I empty it (and pick up my missed shots) once or twice a week. When I put it in the compost pile I have a stick that I use to cover the stuff I just dumped. That discourages critters & insects from feasting on the fresh scraps. Of course a determined critter will dig it up, if I see that happening I just bury it deeper. My compost pile is about 10'x10'x3'.
 
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Location: Foothills, NC
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Karen,
We also use an empty coffee can but I keep a big plastic garbage can (about 30 gallons) outside the back door. At least every other day I go out and dump the coffee can and cover it with a little straw. I dig around in the can from time to time to keep it from packing down and if it seems to wet add more straw. By the time it's about half full it's starting to get heavy. I then take the garbage can and dump it into a wheel barrow and add it to our compost pile.
It's an easy system that has worked for us. It's the first system that we've actually stuck too. We've recycled our kitchen scraps this way for two years now and love it.
 
Karen Briggs
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Leila Rich wrote:Karen, ...mine sits in an open bucket in the cupboard under the sink, which makes it easy to lob teabags etc into!
I probably empty it every couple of days.


Sorry all, forgot about this post.

This is what we ended up doing. We currently are using a 5 gallon bucket without a lid and there is no stink. It never gets more than half full before we take it out to the main pile. Since it is a "wide-mouth", it is much easier for my younger ones to use.
After the meal, I just pull it out from under the sink and we scrape whatever scraps into. Much easier than the coffee can.

Thanks for the suggestions.

 
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I have several tidy cat litter pails that I have washed with dawn. Would this be okay for an inside compost or scrap container?
 
gardener
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Hey Donna, welcome to Permies!
If you are planned to collect the scrap and compost it outdoors, you might find it becomes stinky before its even full.
I use a good quality plastic pitcher with a tight fitting lid, because it forces me to empty it frequently and I can see when I'm getting close to full.

If you are trying to compost inside,I have no idea, I've never purposefully composted indoors.
 
pollinator
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I have found adding high carbon material like bark from firewood, to the pale itself, ideally on the top, in the middle and at the bottom, reduces odors. Biochar even moreso. I think this is because it reduces wet food scraps and coffee grounds going anaerobic. This makes using a larger vessel (2gal) more viable, and that makes the whole process more efficient.
 
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I have a mixed system.

In the warmer months, I need to bring out my compostable material more frequently due to smell and bugs.

In New York, there are no more plastic bags in grocery stores and we have moved to paper bags. Even with using my reusable bags, I still have a glut of paper bags and I utilized them. I try and keep a layer of dry material in the bottom before I start chucking watery vegetable peels in and then I can just huck the whole bag into the compost pile.

I do have a stainless steel bucket with a carbon filter, but the cleaning of it can be a pain. I use it in the winter months but this year I think I'm going to use the paper bags year round. They work well for me and its a source of browns.

I empty the bag when I get to the pile and rip it up by hand before adding it. I have not had any issues so far!
 
steward
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Hi, Donna

Welcome to the forum!

I feel that your buckets would work fine.

If they start to stink then you can then take them out to the compost pile and dump them.

I have a 5-gallon bucket without a lid under my kitchen sink.

We only put coffee grounds into that bucket.  It never has a smell or attracts bugs.

I don't generate much vegetable scraps because I use almost all parts of the vegetables in cooking and making broth.
 
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We use a plastic bucket that was originaly used for dry wall compound or something, it is small, maybe a gallon or so but it gets dumped each morning  in the compost when My wife goes to the chicken house.
The chickens have a different bucket that they get saved up for them .
 
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