Preventing Compost Odors in the Kitchen
The other major source of compost-related odors is the food scrap pile in the kitchen awaiting the trip to the compost bin. To avoid odors in the kitchen, King recommends storing less than a week’s worth of food in an airtight container, then feeding it to the compost microbes along with the recommended 30 to 40 times as much paper, leaves or other carbon. The same general rules apply to worm compost, which also can start to smell with the wrong proportions of food, carbon and water. King warns against letting food scraps get too rotten. “Even worms have their standards.”
Stehouwer warns that worm compost bins can get stinky if users add more food or larger particles than worms can handle. He recommends chopping food into smaller pieces, and always adding plenty of paper or cardboard whenever food is added. Some vermicomposters use a small old blender or food processor to grind up the worm food. Give the worms, or the microbes in a hot compost bin, the right mix of food, air and water, and they will generate valuable, earthy-smelling compost for your garden.