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The Science of Compost

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.

Related:
Compost 101
50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again
10 Rookie Gardening Mistakes
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88 comments

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8:11AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

thanks for sharing

1:01AM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

An important article to read if you want to compost.

11:35PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

THANKS 2 INFORM

12:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

great! thanks for the info.

12:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

great! thanks for the info.

7:05PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Compost is awesome. ty for the article.

8:12AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

thanks, this is so important

8:11AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

thanks

11:09AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Wow thank you for this great information on composting. I had no idea there was a "right way" to do it until reading your article. Keep up the good work!

9:32PM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Adding paper is somethingI haven't been doing..Thankyou! I love Care2, I learn so many tips so fast, that improve my life! Thankyou, again!!

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