Kitchen Compost Crock and Biodegradable Biobags
To keep the kitchen waste from sneaking into the waste basket and going to a landfill, one needs a well thought out plan that is easy to execute (and that doesn't smell!). It seems like no one has any time to do anything extra anymore, but if you set yourself up right, this process won't add much to your burdens and you'll feel great about recycling your kitchen scraps and making your own compost. Remember, the three most important components to composting on a daily basis are A) make it easy, B) make sure it doesn't smell, and C) make it beautiful (it can't be an eye sore in the kitchen or you know it will get tossed in a few months).
We've reviewed a bunch of containers from stainless to plastic to ceramic and have decided on this this good looking ceramic crock (Amazon $23.95). The ceramic one looks the best, won't leak, and can be sanitized in the dishwasher. The down side is that it is heavier but we have a solution for that . . .
The stainless ones were too expensive and sometimes the cover didn't fit very well. Also, there are those pesky seams that could open up sometime in the future. You might want to buy a stainless composter anyway if your kitchen has stainless appliances. (remember, make it beautiful!)
The plastic one we found was green and it just looked too junky and cheap to keep in the kitchen (even the GardenSnob kitchen with hay on the floor, honey supers stacked in a corner, a prociutto hanging in one window, and a bucket of wheat waiting to be flailed). Plus, we don't trust plastic tabs or "living hinges" to last more than a few weeks, especially with daily use. Then you have a plastic item to throw away and part of this practice is to reduce trash so we won't even include a link to it.
Now that you've put your ceramic crock on the counter or even tucked it in a corner on the floor somewhere, the subject of taking the compost out to the pile comes up. This is the weak link, the part that has to be easy, because if it isn't, the habit of taking the compost out will surely die the day after the first snowfall. And so, behold the BioBag!
These biodegradable, recyclable bags will fit nicely into your ceramic crock and when it comes time to empty it, just take out the bag and drop it into the compost bin. The bags are a 3 gallon size so there is plenty of extra material with which to tie a knot and hand it off to the nearest youngster (before dessert, of course).
This picture doesn't lie - it's easy! If you could see his face, you would see a giant smile on it. We recommend taking the bag out every 3 - 5 days, depending on what you've put in it, because the bag will start to decompose (the next weakest link). In my experience with humans and their nature, that mess would only be cleaned up once and by throwing everything out once and for all - crock, bags and scraps. Talk about defeating the whole purpose! These bags are $8.33 for 3 packs (total of 75 bags for a savings of 37 cents per pack over buying them singly).
If you are ambitious or a horder like me, buy 12 packs at the wholesale price of $37.01 (300 bags). It's not a great savings - only 30 cents per box - but you won't have to worry about compost bags for four years and who knows how much shipping will be in 2012.
As for those charcoal filters that come with all these kitchen composters, use them if they come free with it until they wear out. Then, forget about them and put the saved money under your mattress. Using the biodegradable bags keeps the odors contained if you twirl the ends together before you put the cover on and renders the charcoal filters unnecessary.
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Posted by Mary Ellen at October 17, 2008 6:15 AM