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Small compost on deck - need ideas

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Post  SewingMom on 10/25/2010, 10:10 am

I'm just getting started, I've never composted in my life. I need to put something outside soon, even if it's temporary. I have saved some kitchen scraps and I'd like to get started. Our kitchen opens out to the deck with no immediate access to the backyard (unless I'd like to go up and down a bunch of stairs every time I have compost) so for convenience I'd like to put something small and not terribly ugly on there. I'm guessing I'll need to order something online but in the meantime, can I put the scraps in a cardboard box or maybe a Rubbermaid tote or something or is that a really bad idea? Now that I know about compost it seems like such a waste to throw them in the garbage disposal!
Thanks Smile
Laura
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Post  camprn on 10/25/2010, 10:24 am

Good for you AND your garden for starting the compost! I would discourage the use of large buckets to collect the compost that ultimately will go out to the pile. The main reason being is that it can get REALLY heavy in no time. Better to make more frequent trips with a smaller bucket. I use something like this on my counter top in the kitchen, then when it fills I empty it into my compost area out side near the garden. http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Endurance-Gallon-Small-Compost/dp/B002Q7CSN2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1288016490&sr=8-2
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Post  Odd Duck on 10/25/2010, 10:48 am

This is my compost pail and this link also explains why I like it.

http://www.buygreen.com/biobagmaxairiicompostingbuckets.aspx

The biobags do not compost very well in my tumble composters, but degrade very quickly in my compost heap. I don't know why the difference, but I ended up with so many bag bits, that I quit putting the bags into the tumblers, those get manure and browns, and very little kitchen scraps compared to my heaps.

If I am very neglectful of dumping the pail, it can get a little smelly or get fruit flies, but that's only if I'm really lazy about dumping it or not cooking for several days in a row and the bin sits there partially filled. Melon rinds seem to almost instantly hatch fruit flies.
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Post  Old Hippie on 10/25/2010, 6:16 pm

In my compost book it has suggestions for using a garbage can. I used one one year outside the back door because there was too much snow to get to the compost bin. It does get very heavy, so if you have lots of stairs I might start with a 5 gal. pail with a lid. Something that you could empty say once a month. I will look up the instructions in my book this evening and post them for you.

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Post  Megan on 10/25/2010, 6:34 pm

We have a composter out back. Inside the house, I use a 5 gallon bucket. I cover it with a large plastic bowl (bottom down) to keep the cats out. That pretty much forces me to not let it get more than half full, which in turn keeps it light enough to carry comfortably and not sit around long enough to smell, either. (When I'm canning, it fills up, though!) I think it's actually a feed bucket; one side of it is flat which lets it sit closer against the wall.

I thought about a countertop composter like the one camprn shows, but my counter is VERY full already, and I'd make an awful lot of trips with something that small. (I'd rather lug something a little heavier if it means I can do it less often! Laughing)
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Post  Chopper on 10/26/2010, 10:35 pm

I keep a 5 quart old plastic ice cream container with a plastic lid under the sink. On the counter I keep a smaller plastic gladware container and dump it into the larger one when full. I don't want old food int he house more than a day or so anyway so emptying is not a problem! LOL.
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Post  SewingMom on 10/27/2010, 3:16 pm

Thank you!
I thought everyone was running out to their backyards after each meal. Guess I have a lot to learn!
I'll just get some sort of bucket with a lid (love the ice cream bucket idea because I think I have one!) and dump that into the compost whenever it gets full.

Now to figure out how to make my compost pile look as neat as possible so I don't annoy the neighbors. We live in a subdivision with an HOA so there are lots of annoying rules Laughing Actually, I'm not sure how they are going to like my square foot gardening boxes but I'll cross that bridge next spring Smile
~Laura
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Post  Megan on 10/27/2010, 7:09 pm

You might consider a contained composter. They are expensive, but they do hide the compost. That is what we have. (I sorely miss the monstrous pile we had back on the farm I grew up on...easily 10-12 feet tall!)

I tangled with my HOA late this year and it didn't go well at all, but at least I got in an almost full season. Good luck!
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Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 10/28/2010, 8:16 pm

I use a plastic cat litter bucket. I painted it green with some spray paint meant for plastic so it would be more attractive, and I usually haul it out to my compost bin every other week or so. I am thinking about doing vermicomposting in my basement this winter.
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