September 4, 2021

What you can and can't compost, how to add it to the bag, and how to take the bag out to the bin.

Step 1: Fill it

If you're not sure if what you have is compostable or not, check this page to see if what you want to add is listed.

If you're still unsure, you can always ask house chat.

Step 1.5: Chonk it


This moldy yellow squash was way too big to go in the bin whole--chopping things into smoler bits make things easier for the worms and microbes to do their jobs and helps keep flies down as a result. Wh

Flies are also attracted to a lot of moisture. If you're binning something that's very 'wet', like fruit, consider letting it dry out a little first if feasible. Putting wet chonks on a pan at the back of the middle stove burner while the oven is running can use the passive oven exhaust to help dry them out while other food is cooking. Just leaving things to air dry indoors in the summer can cause more fruit flies in the kitchen, but things like tea leaves can be spread out in a bowl or on a plate to dry and then set on the back porch for a few hours. Use your judgement or, if you're unsure of what to do, you can always ask house chat.

Step 2: Pull it

'pushed a button and it dropped a bomb'

The bin is scheduled to be pulled 3x per week to according to the chore chart, which is a good guide if we're adding a lot of 'wet' stuff and to prevent it from getting too full, but it is meant to be more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. If it's not that full and/or the contents aren't that wet it's probably ok to wait another day.

If really wet material is added the bag, which is compostable/biodegradable, should be pulled the same day so it doesn't wet out the material and rip when you try pulling it.

Push the tab and pull up on the wire bag hanger to free the bag from the frame, then lift the bag out of the bin, checking the sidewalls for rips as you lift it so we don't accidentally compost mess all over the counter.

Then give the bag a little twist, this helps keep flies out while the organic material starts to decompose.

Step 3: Reset it

they're in there I swear

Replacement bags are stored in the cupboard under the stairs with the cleaning supplies.

Snag a fresh bag, shake it out, and with the wire bag hanger raised, put the bottom of the bag through the hoop, then fold the bag's edges over the hoop and lower the wire until it clicks back into place to secure the bag, trapping the edges around the wire.

Step 4: Toss it

twist to prevent buggos :0

Kitchen scraps and yard waste go in the pallet compost bin by the back alley gate along the fence. The bin has two hinged doors/lids to help keep animals like raccoons, opossums, alley cats, and pets (most importantly Theo) from eating the scraps and generally making a mess. One lid is on the top, the other is on the front. If you open the front door, please ensure it closes as fully as possible! Rats can squeeze through some real smol gaps.

Drop the bag in and try to add an equivalent amount of 'browns' to compensate for the 'greens' you just added. If you're not sure what's a brown and what's a green, check this guide or ask house chat.

a clean & happy compost bin ~

Tl;dr, cardboard and paper can be snagged from recycling to add as browns as long as they aren't coated, but will need to be shredded to go in the bin. Wetting the cardboard is also a good idea. Ideally you want to add enough browns to cover the greens you just added, as that helps keep flies out of the pile too.

And finally, make sure the bin is closed when you're done!