Show me where you keep your compost in the kitchen!

Momto3kiddosNovember 4, 2012

We are building on the farm and plan to compost our "ort" when we are there for use in the garden. Ort is a word my 7 year old taught me... it means "a morsel left at a meal." Anyway, I am planning a pullout trash bin next to the clean-up sink - which is very close to the prep area, too. What solutions do you guys have for storing food destined for the compost pile in your kitchen?

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Here are a couple recent threads for you to check out. I keep mine under the kitchen sink in an enamel bucket with lid.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:45PM
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I store mine in the freezer.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:06PM
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We did a dedicated pullout for it, similar to what you're thinking of doing.

The right hand pullout has the front bin for compost, back bin for cans and bottles, drawer for cardboard/paper. Left hand pullout is trash compactor. A necessity here as we only get garbage pickup every 2nd week. Compost/recycle is picked up once a week which definitely encourages putting everything compostable into the right bin. :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:14PM
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We are planning on a hole in the countertop with a built-in compost pale. Three companies make them:
Hafele, Blanco, and Rev-a-Shelf.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Oldbat2be has the Solon. I am doing the same unit..haven't installed it yet.. It will go right next to our prep sink into the cavity behind the regular trash. I have deeper base cabs and so am able to use this space.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:53PM
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Taggie, how do you operate your compactor? It looks af if the switch/knob is covered when the door is closed?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 6:28AM
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I'm really happy with my compost setup, right under the prep sink:

I don't have to remove the lid, don't have to crouch down to throw peels into the compost pail in the cupboard, and don't have to have the compost pail on the counter.

It's a 5-qt Richelieu, which I got at It feels a little cheap, but it's held up well for a month. I hope it lasts a long time, because I like the setup and I spent way too much on a piece of plastic. ($50 including shipping!!)

It's intended for frameless cabs, but DH easily adapted installation for my face frame cabs.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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I don't know who I got the idea from, but I read it here on GW. We freeze our compost, and then take it out once a week. This has worked extremely well. Prior to the freeze method I tried several different bins but all would still stink up the kitchen and would attract tons of fruit flies.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Our solution is similar to fouramblues'.

We've composted for 30+ years and I am thrilled that I finally came upon this solution. The thing I've hated has always been lids. I love just opening the door and having the container swing out to me and the lid elevating off. If I have a lot of scraps, I leave the door open.

The container holds a lot. We can choose to empty it before it gets full but we usually wait until it can't hold any more. I've never noticed a smell. I've had containers with charcoal in the lids before but I found it isn't necessary with this container. I'm glad it has plenty of room for melon rinds.

I've had friends with containers set in the counter but the cover and the disruption of counterspace is a deal breaker for me. The cover usually has to be put down somewhere and if it has gunk on it I don't want to put it down on the counter (and if I have items in the sink, I can't put it there). Plus I can't get the cover off of the container if both hands are cupping scraps (I can usually hook my pinky around the knob on the door under our sink and easily access the compost bucket we use now.)

This is one is from Rev-a-Shelf. We had a less expensive all plastic version (also R-a-S) that didn't hold up well. The hardware was flimsier and the bucket began to sag off of the pivot device. This version has held up without any problem for a few years now. Btw, the door is used only for pulling the container out and it doesn't carry any of the weight. And, as fouramblues stated, it was an easy adaptation to make it work for a cabinet with a frame.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I mentioned above that I freeze mine - but during the reno process, I was very close to installing the Blanco. I think it is pretty nifty and everything can go into the dishwasher.
Then I looked at my little kitchen and just couldn't put a big hole into the limited counter space.
I am still toying with the idea of putting it under the sink in a pull out holder - but for now, I am sticking with freezing.

I use an tier 2 or 3 zip lock and sometimes put a compost bag inside - but whenever it is full - just dump into the outside bin - now when it is -40 outside, I might not get there as often!!

I also have a friend - she dedicated an old blender to the cause - and stores the liquified compost in her fridge and then empties episodically.

I am looking forward to enhanced soil next year!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Olivertwist, great idea!

I have a bucket/container on the counter, next to wherever I am doing my prep. If there is any meat waste I store it in the freezer until garage day (we have weekly composting pickup). We don't have a great deal of meat waste, so we have a composting bin in the garage where I dump the non-meat materials every day or so.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:34PM
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Taggie, how do you operate your compactor? It looks af if the switch/knob is covered when the door is closed?

The switches you say are just for things like if you want the air freshener on, or double compact vs standard setting, etc. The compactor operates via a foot pedal when closed .... press down on the pedal to open, press up on the pedal to compact.

Here's a pic I just took that shows the foot pedal:

And someone who came running when I was taking the picture, all hopeful that some prep might be happening, and it might -- just might -- involve a morsel falling on the floor. No dice this time. :-)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Thanks, Taggie, for the thorough (and illustrated!) explanation. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer so helpfully. Just wish I were nearby in order to accidentally drop a morsel of thanks on the floor for your good looking friend there. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Excuse my ignorance, but I've always wondered if I can gather compost and use without the worms. If there's a dedicated bin outside, how do you keep racoons and squirrels from feasting?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:36PM
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I also put our compost in the freezer - just started this summer based on a suggestion from someone here on GW. It has been so easy and best of all there have been no fruit flies to speak of and none of that compost slime that develops after a few days and no bin to wash out! I'm sticking to the freezer!!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:21PM
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I inserted a stainless 1/4 steamer table tray into a drawer at the prep island.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I line this air-tight/sealed (low/no fruit flies) canister with newspaper to hide the stuff. Then I dump all of it into my compost, rinse it out, and re-line. The newspaper helps add the necessary browns.

dilly: I use this Earth Machine. 2 of them, since our town sells them at a very affordable price, so that I don't have to rotate the compost inside.
I just fill up one composter each year. Then at the start of the new year/season, I move the uncomposted stuff into the 2nd machine (so that I can get to the composted dirt underneath) and start filling the 2nd one for that year.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:27PM
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- the canister usually sits out on the counter, but should fit in the middle drawer of this 12" pullout when I want it to disappear

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I keep a canister on top of the counter and empty it daily or every other day. I just bury the stuff in the compost pile outside....we add wood ash and dry leaves to it on a regular basis. By burying it, it keeps the critters at bay, though sometimes, if I haven't buried it quite deep enough, they will dig in for the egg shells. Only thing is, I stop composting once the ground is frozen and I can't dig anymore....a few months of the year for us.

And it leads to surprises...this past summer I had a cherry tomato plant and a cucumber plant grow out of the pile.....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:23AM
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