Kitchen Waste Composting / Conserving Valuable Resources
Composting, often described as nature’s way of recycling, is the biological process of breaking up of organic waste such as food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, worms, and coffee grounds, etc., into an extremely useful humus-like substance by various micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes in the presence of oxygen.
Actinomycetes are similar to fungus in the way they grow and spread, but its distinguishing elements are that the types of materials they are efficient at decomposing. The active nature in this microscopic bacteria and the sheer number present (about 10 million per 1 gram of soil), make them highly effective at breaking down materials like tree bark, newspaper, and other hard organic material.
Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in many countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impact they have on the environment.
Kitchen Waste Composting / Actively Participating in a Greener Environment
Composting kitchen wastes is an imperative activity as far as composting at home is concerned. Kitchens generate a lot of waste. By composting it, we can contribute towards cleaner environment and also it’s beneficial to plants and garden at home. You can make the practice easier by buying a composting bin to do the job. Several types of kitchen composting bins are readily available in the marketplace these days.
In the green/brown (or the nitrogen/carbon) equation of a compost pile, kitchen waste is considered mostly green. It needs carbon to balance it out, and often in an urban area, carbon is in short supply. If you don’t have a yard with lots of woody garden clippings, or a big pile of leaves left from fall cleanup, you can also use shredded newspaper for carbon.
Kitchen Waste Composting / Keeping the Water Under Control
Kitchen scraps are very wet and as they start to decompose, they produce even more water. This water can mess up a barrel or worm composting bin, or any pile that is not set up to drain well. So a proper drainage system is must when composting kitchen wastes.
Kitchen Waste Composting Tips
- Whenever possible cut the kitchen compost into small pieces.
- Ensure that foods with rinds, skins or hard outside covers are cut open – you want the bacteria to get inside.
- Drain any extra water if you are throwing the kitchen compost into a worm bin or other container that doesn’t drain easily.
- Add equal parts “brown” matter — one kitchen crock of kitchen compost and one kitchen crock of newspaper, cardboard, dried garden clippings, twigs, leaves, or sawdust – whatever carbonaceous matter you have.
- Keep your kitchen waste compost protected from pest invasion at all times. By putting a screen on top of it you can effectively keep away the flies. Putting a fence around it can help in keeping dogs, rats or raccoons away from the compost.
- Always bury the kitchen waste compost at least 6-inches below the surface of a regular outdoor compost pile to prevent pests from invading.
In short, plan on managing your kitchen waste compost which has accumulated over the winter right after the spring thaw. Add carbonaceous material, turn it and make sure the food is well buried. When a large mass of organic waste thaws, it may become a stinky mess quickly. After the spring thaw, your pile will balance out and become less “crisis” prone.
Kitchen waste composting does not follow seasonal cycles. As you eat all year long so food waste is produced everyday which implies that you can compost it throughout the year. Food scraps are best recycled at home, not in behemoth piles.
We can make a huge difference in green house gas emissions, land use and general environment improvement by turning the vegetable matter we don’t eat, right back into our own soil.
For more information on composting follow these links: