Composting is a great way to avoid sending vegetable scraps to the landfill while at the same time making nutrient rich compost for your garden. With a few tips you can avoid the ICK factor altogether and make composting easier. One simple step is to use a table or countertop compost bin to temporarily store your compost before you take it to the outside compost bin or pile.
We had pretty much accepted that composting has to be somewhat icky because you are dealing with the decomposition of stuff after all. Since our compost bins are out back, we had been using a bowl or plastic container to hold the peels, scraps, etc. on our counter, and we tried very hard to take it out every night so it didn’t get all icky or attract fruit flies. It was a pain, but we knew it was good for the garden and the earth.
It wasn’t until a good friend gave us a countertop compost bin that we really experienced how much easier it could be. Now we take the compost out when the countertop bin is full, which is typically every 2-3 days, rather than every night. We’ve gone over a week and not had any problems from odors or fruit flies from the scraps inside. (Leaving bananas in the fruit bowl for too long is another story, good for a post on getting rid of fruit flies.) The ventilation in the lid actually inhibits the decomposition, and it is the decomposition that makes it icky and sometimes smelly.
We dump our coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetable peels, fruit cores, etc. into the bin and put the lid on. Then every couple days, we take it out and dump it in our compost bin and we are ready to start collecting scraps again. We have not found it necessary to rinse it out every time we empty it.
If you are going to compost, and we highly recommend that you do, then seriously consider getting a countertop compost bin. We prefer the ceramic one because it does not collect any odors like a plastic one. We also prefer the ceramic over the recycled plastic ones that use biodegradable bags because the bags are just one more thing to buy and stock in the house, even if they do degrade over time. Some folks really like the stainless steel models for similar reasons to the ceramic.
Happy Greening and Ick Free Composting!