Quick Tip: Recycled Compost Bucket

I’m a big believer in composting.  It pretty much meets all my criteria for a perfect activity–it takes items that would normally be trash, save them from being sent to the landfill and recycles it into organic matter that can be used in your garden for free in place of a purchased fertility supplement.

Sustainable win.  Frugal win.  Preparedness win. Win-Win-Win!  How many things do that?

Our system for getting stuff INTO the compost bin is sort of a 3 step process.  First I keep a small container or bucket in the house to toss things into as I’m cooking.  That typically takes anywhere from 1 day to 4 days to fill up, at which point I dump it into the 5 gallon bucket on the back porch.  When that’s full, then it’s time to rope one of the kids into carrying it back to the compost bin.  Of course sometimes I chunk things right into the bucket on the porch, or sometimes when I’m processing large amounts of food for canning, freezing or drying they get taken straight out to the compost bins–but you get the idea.

I’ve been through several iterations of “compost buckets” on my kitchen counter.  I’ve used a plain old bowl.  I’ve used a recycled plastic tub (which always just wound up with the lid off and grossing folks out.  Finally I found something that I really think works–I’ve recycled one of those containers that the “dishwasher detergent” paks come in!

It’s a decent size and it’s got a flip top lid.  Plus it didn’t cost me anything (usually I don’t buy the paks but my mom does and she gave me the container).  The only problem is that you can see all the stuff on the inside, and let’s face it–coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels etc don’t exactly look lovely.

Cover a Compost Bucket

So the other day I came up with a brilliant idea!  I had some left over Adhesive Paper by Duck left over from the blog post on Duck Shelf Liner.  I didn’t think the zebra print or the sparkly holographic print would really go with my kitchen, so I grabbed the polka dot.  A couple of minutes later and it was covered!

Cover a compost Bucket b

It’s not a perfect job, but it’s covered.  It looks a whole heck of a lot better than it did!  If those small wrinkles start to bother me I can just peel it off and use some more.

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  1. Jane says

    I use a large Folgers coffee tub. They even advertise its sealing ability! I transfer to the compost bin directly from it, though.

  2. Joyce says

    My process is exactly the same. I had always just used any “Tupperware ” sort of container but my friend gave me a compost container sponsored by ocrra the Onondaga county recycling agency. It works well. But I’m with you though. No buying.

  3. Becky says

    With counter top and floor space at a premium here, we opted for a door mounted trash can with a lid that opens when the door is opened, closes when the door is closed. Just attach an much hinge to the lid. We line it with 13 gallon biodegradable bags, so that, when full, the whole thing can be tossed into the large compost bin in the yard. The bucket is under the sink, so very convenient, and out of sight!
    Tip: When canning or doing other cooking chores that entail making a lot of kitchen waste (peels, cores, rinds, etc.), I take a couple of extra minutes to run it through the food processor or blender. This brings out the water/juice and everything will break down much faster in the compost bin.

  4. PW says

    Quick question: I am interested in composting as I am a huge gardener. But we have so much wildlife–red fox,skunks, coyotes, possum, racoons that are always running around and not too shy–how do you keep them from getting into the compost pile then wanting to make homes nearby? They chew thru trash cans, even metal cans they have gotten lids off and get into them. Looking for solutions. I even worry about drawing mice, and we live in a suburb of Chicago

    • says

      PW–I don’t have that particular issue, although I am in a small village. I think the key here is WHAT you put in your compost bin. Whenever you see lists of “what you can compost” they always state not meats, fats or grains. Now if you think about it, meat, fat & grains will rot/decompose just like everything else and eventually bring fertility to your soil–as a matter of fact things like bone are what is used to make bonemeal–So why not compost them ? Well my understanding has always been that those types of things are what draw in the animals! Most fox, skunk, racoons etc are not so interested in your coffee grounds, banana peels and lettuce ends. :)

      Of course you can always build a bit sturdier bin as well–maybe something that has a gate on the front if you find you are really having a problem.

  5. says

    My process is exactly the same. I had always just used any “Tupperware ” sort of container but my friend gave me a compost container sponsored by ocrra the Onondaga county recycling agency. It works well. But I’m with you though.

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