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How hard is it to compost all of your food waste at home?

To understand how difficult it is to compost all of your food waste, it’s important to first understand what food waste can be composted and what food waste can not be composted, before that, let's take a little composting introductory course.


Composting is a biological process that involves different types of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. with organic substrate or raw material or any biodegradable organic waste, These elements participate in the decomposition of organic materials generating a final product. This product is stable and easy to transport for application as a biofertilizer in soils and crops.

Or put it in a less academic way, Composting is the process in which organic matter such as leaves and food scraps breaks down into soil.


Composting food waste at home becomes clear once you know what composting is. Things don't seem to be difficult or challenging here, but knowing is one thing, how to do it is another, in order to fully To compost household food waste, You need to follow the steps below:

1. Start a compost pile.

Choosing a location for your compost heap or bin is the first stage in the composting process.

Try to choose a spot outside that has good drainage, some shade, and some cover. It's crucial to choose a location that is both accessible and free of animals, home pet and wild animals.

For maximum heat retention and manageability for most gardeners, your pile should be at least 3 feet in height and width. As bacteria break down organic materials during the composting process, heat is created (3Trusted Source).

You can also use a compost tumbler, a container made to make it simpler to mix and rotate your composting ingredients.

2. Start filling compost material

You can begin adding things to your compost pile once you've chosen a location for it.

Alternating layers of green and brown materials is typically advised. "Green materials" are things like food and yard waste, whereas "brown materials" are things like branches, paper, straw, and wood chips that are high in carbon.

Layering isn't necessary, but it does ensure that you're keeping the appropriate ratio of green and brown components to speed up decomposition.

To encourage aeration and drainage, start by adding a layer of bulky brown items, such as twigs, to the bottom of the pile. Once your container is filled, pile green and brown items in successive layers. To keep each layer moist, make sure to sprinkle little water over it.

3. Consistently rotate the pile

Turning your pile frequently would promote effective composting. To do this, turn and spin the ingredients with a shovel or pitchfork to help spread air and moisture equally.

The size of the pile, the amount of moisture, and the proportion of brown to green components are just a few of the variables that affect how frequently you should turn your compost.

You should begin by rotating your pile every 4 to 7 days as a general rule. You might need to turn your compost less frequently as it begins to grow.

While rain should provide the majority of the moisture for your compost pile, you might need to water it sometimes to help keep it moist. You can add more brown materials or stir the pile more regularly to drain excess moisture from it if it gets too soggy.

What to compost and What not to compost

This is the hard part. Composting household food waste completely depends on your diet and consumption habits. Composting is not a panacea. Some substances are naturally suitable for household composting and some substances cannot be disposed of by household composting. It has to be sent to a professional facility for composting,you can contact your community to find out which professional composting facilities are available near you and what materials they can handle, Below is a list of common food wastes that home composting can and cannot handle:

What to compost

Here are some items that you can compost at home :

  • fruit and vegetable peels and scraps

  • rotten fruit and veggies

  • houseplant trimmings

  • coffee grounds and paper filters

  • tea leaves

  • eggshells

  • nutshells (apart from walnuts)

  • hair and fur

  • paper, cardboard, and shredded newspaper

  • napkins, paper towels, and unused toilet paper

  • grass clippings

  • leaves

  • flowers

  • wood chips

What not to compost

Many organic materials, such as food scraps, yard waste, and some paper goods, can be composted. However, some materials shouldn't be composted since they contain dangerous substances or draw pests.

  • Pet waste, such as feces or litter: may contain harmful bacteria or parasites.

  • Bones or scraps from meat, fish, and poultry: produces odor and attracts pests.

  • Dairy products: produces odor and attracts pests.

  • Leaves or twigs from black walnut trees: releases a compound that’s toxic to plants.

  • Walnuts: releases a compound that’s toxic to plants.

  • Coal ash or charcoal: contains compounds that may harm plants.

  • Large pieces of wood: may take a long time to decompose.

  • Fat, cooking oil, and grease: produces odor and attracts pests.

  • Pesticide-treated lawn trimmings: may kill microorganisms needed for the composting process.

  • Coffee pods: most contain plastic and don’t break down naturally.

  • Baked goods: may attract pests and increase the growth of harmful bacteria.

  • Plants that are diseased or infested with insects: may spread disease.

Where are the difficulties and how to solve them

After reading this, I believe that you have a full understanding of composting, and based on your own actual situation, you have a preliminary thinking and judgment about using composting to deal with all food waste at home, It sounds difficult, but it's totally doable by taking control of your lifestyle and consumption habits. Different people have different dietary preferences. According to different dietary preferences, family composting has different practices.

For vegetarian

Vegetarians have an advantage in home composting. Their recipes do not contain all kinds of animal fats and meat or bones, which are the worst parts of home composting. So they don't need to make changes for home composting, just have a compost bin and enough home compost bags and they can start eliminating all food waste at home.

For people with normal diet

This is the hard part for people who eat a normal diet, and their diet contains kinds of animal fats and meats and parts like bones that can't go into the home compost bin for disposal, The general recommendation is to pack them in compost bags and take them to a nearby compost facility or recycling facility for disposal, but if you insist on composting your food waste at home, Then it is a good plan to make a diet plan, purchase ingredients quantitatively, and minimize the discard and waste of food.

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