Green House: Compost Collection Starts at Home

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that over eight percent of the waste generated per person per day could be recovered for composting. In addition, over twelve percent of the municipal solid waste in the United States is comprised of food scraps. This adds up to nearly 32 million tons per year. By starting at home, we can all do our part to collect compostable materials and help divert waste from our landfills.

In order for any collection program to be successful, it has to be simple. If it is easy to collect food scraps, then it is more likely to be embraced by each and every member of your family. There are a few easy steps which can help ensure your house is doing its part to make a difference.

Start by educating the members of your household. Let them know that by collecting food scraps separately from your trash, everyone is doing their part to help the environment and change the world. It can be a powerful message.

Be sure to use the correct compost collection bins. Depending upon the size of your family, you may be able to use a smaller organic collection bin. For larger households, a larger kitchen collection container can be used. Many sizes are available. Be sure to choose the one that is right for you. In addition, you can use a kitchen compost bin that has a vented lid (often available with charcoal filters) to help ensure a steady air flow for the bin but also to reduce any unwanted odors.

Be sure to place your kitchen compost bin somewhere central and somewhere that everyone will use it. Placing it under the kitchen sink is a good idea as this is usually a very central location in the kitchen and allows for plates and dishes to be rinsed immediately after food scraps are scraped into the organics bin.

Choosing a durable collection container is always a good idea. Due to the composition of food scraps, the bin could get heavy at times and the last thing you'll want to deal with is a broken handle causing a spill. Also, the bin should be easy to clean (a bin that is dishwasher safe is a good idea).

Transferring the food scraps from your kitchen collector bin into a larger container is going to be important as well. Placing an organics collection cart in the garage is a good start. By making sure the kitchen container is emptied on a regular basis into the cart, you'll go a long way to helping reduce odors and ensuring your kitchen bin is always ready to collect more items.

If your municipality does not offer curbside collection of organics materials, you can always look at starting composting in your backyard. The food scraps you collect will not only stay out of the landfill, they will go a long way toward providing your gardens with the very best organic material to ensure they flourish.

By taking the correct steps, you can go a long way toward beginning a compost collection program in your very own home. It's easier than you think and will help truly make a difference in the world.

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