11 Tips for a Healthy Compost Bin




11 Tips for a Healthy Compost Bin

Of all the reasons why someone might choose not to use their curbside compost bin, I suspect the potential "yuck factor: is near the top.

Warm weather and a growing compost pile can often lead to a messy compost bin with an unpleasant stench and the occasional infestation, but with proper care and a little extra effort you can keep your compost bin in reasonable shape during the season that it is most likely to fill up.

There is good reason to make use of curbside composting, or a backyard compost pile. Composting can divert up to 40% of your household waste from the landfill. That means all of that food and yard waste can go back into the earth in a productive way.

Organic matter like kitchen scraps and yard waste will eventually decompose in the landfill but it is unproductive -- better to turn organic matter into compost. (The Crane Mountain compost facility produces Grade A quality compost for sale, in large and small quantities. Contact Crane Mountain for details.)

Here are some ways to keep your compost cart in good shape during the warm months.

11 Tips for a Healthy Compost Bin

1. Store your cart in the shade, or at least out of direct sunlight.

2. Secure the lid with a bungee cord to help keep animals from getting into it your bin.

3. Always put your cart out on collection day.

4. Crumple paper in the bottom of the bin to help absorb liquid.

5. Add yard waste to the bin to mix up the composition of the contents.

6. Sprinkle in baking soda or garden lime to help absorb odours and to make it less hospitable to bugs.

7. Don’t overfill your kitchen compost bags. Leave enough room to tie them closed so the contents don’t spill when they’re in the cart. It will make it easier to keep the cart clean.

8. Wrap meat and fish scraps in newspaper before putting them in the bin, or freeze them and toss them in the bin the morning of pick up day.

9. Pet waste can go in your compost bin. Wrap it in newspaper. (Most dog poop bags are just biodegradable, so aren’t compostable.)

10. Kitty litter can go into the compost cart only if it is a natural clay-based kitty litter. Check the packaging to confirm.)

11. Hose down your compost cart inside and out after it has been emptied. Then use a toilet brush to scrub it with warm water and borax or vinegar.



What can’t go in your compost cart: plants and yard waste that has been treated with pesticides or herbicides; ashes and cigarette butts; dryer sheets and lint; wax (including beeswax).

Only compostable bags can be used in the bins. Look for the “compostable” symbol on the package if you’re using non-paper bin liners.

Giving your compost cart this little extra attention during the summer months can help to keep it healthier, and a lot more manageable.

Visit Fundy Recycles for more information on the care and feeding of your compost cart.

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