Climate Conscious
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Climate Conscious

Let’s Talk About the Dirty Word, Compost

And how it doesn’t make your kitchen smell like rotten eggs anymore.

White bucket labeled compost with image of an eaten apple and other food scraps depicted on it. Next to it, is a black bucket labeled coffee.
Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

Many things held me back from composting. The first being a yard. I lived in a condo without one. Then I learned most cities have a drop-off location.

The next hold-up became time. The nearest compost drop-off was 30 minutes away. All I could think of was how long the compost would sit in a bin on my kitchen counter, smelling.

That lovely smell of decomposing, rotten egg, grossness.

I couldn’t get past the thought of how bad my kitchen would smell. Yet I knew how much composting would reduce my waste and help the environment.

According to the EPA, “Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead.”

Along with reducing waste, composting has many other benefits. The US Composting Council has summarized them as:

  • Prevents soil erosion
  • Assists in stormwater management
  • Promotes healthier plant growth
  • Conserves water
  • Reduces waste
  • Combats climate change
  • Reduces project maintenance costs
  • Improves soil health
  • Assists in wetland reclamation

These are all needed benefits. Yet, what if guests come over and the smell offends them?

I don’t want to be that friend.

Thanks to modern composting services, we can now do both. We can compost and avoid being that friend with a smelly house.

I’ve since gotten over the many preconceived thoughts I had surrounding compost. I now compost without using a pile, and I have a bin in my kitchen.

So what changed?

For starters, I found a compost collection service, Compost Now. They pick up every week, so no lingering smell.

I have an easy 2 pail system. One stays in my home and the other gets picked up every week by Compost Now.

The one that stays in my home is a smaller countertop compost bin made of bamboo. I also keep compostable liner bags in it. Which means there’s no mess to deal with. If there is any smell that might occur, the lid has a replaceable charcoal filter to reduce it.

Throughout the week I empty this smaller bin into the larger bucket that gets picked up each week. This larger one isn’t that big, it’s slightly smaller than a 5-gallon bucket. I appreciate that it’s small enough to keep in my hall closet.

As for any potential smell, it’s completely airtight. There is no way smell is coming out of it. I can vouch that it has become quite smelly on occasion and the bin contained the odor.

This has been the easiest process. Not only am I reducing waste, but I also get a return. Once I’ve produced 25 lbs of compost, I get composted dirt to use at home. I’m not sure why I’ve avoided this for so long.

There’s no raking or making sure I have the right turnover or whatever else yard composting requires. I don’t have to worry about critters getting into it, like bears. Yes, there are bears where I live.

This all sounds great, but I know Compost Now is only in a few cities in the southeast. Yet, there are other compost pickup services across the country. Some examples are Black Earth Compost, The Better Bin Compost Company, and Treehouse Compost.

The blog Litterless has a great list compiled for all 50 states. This is where I learned some local municipalities even include it in their regular pickup!

If there isn’t a pickup service in your area, your waste center likely has a dropoff. You would need to check their website for more information.

I’ve found that composting isn’t that hard. It’s even possible without a yard.

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