Day 29 - My Kitchen Compost Bin Is Full, Now What?

One of our first steps (albeit maybe not the most practical of beginnings) was to begin composting our kitchen scraps.  There are a lot of companies out there that provide kitchen compost bins that fit on your counter or under the sink, and are perfect for collecting all the little bits of vegetable waste and eggshells.

But what do you do with the contents of your bin once it’s full?  Since we don’t have a garden or terrace, we can’t very well keep large quantities of compost at home.  As I’m learning, ideally compost should get some sun, as warmth helps speed up the decomposing process.  It should also have sufficient drainage and access to air.  When I consulted the company that sold me my compost bin, I asked what could be done with it once we’ve collected it.  They advised that I could just dump it under a shrub in the park, which luckily is a 5 minute walk from our apartment.

But that seemed a little haphazard to me.  I wanted to be able to reap the rewards of our compost, and see it actually turn into rich, fertile soil, rather than just dump it and leave it.

Mat and I go running in the park a couple times a week, and we take a mostly shaded dirt path that goes around the perimeter of the park.  Unfortunately, there are many areas on our run that just serves as dumping grounds for trash.  But it got me thinking, if the park authorities aren’t worked up about people throwing their plastic garbage on the side of the path, how could they mind if I create a makeshift compost pile somewhere? 

In my reading, I’ve found that you can in fact make compost in an open pile, without any kind of container, though compost in a container is usually better and ripens more quickly.  But for my purposes, an open pile may make the most sense.  I don’t need tons of compost, just a few handfuls to feed to my house plants in the end, and I’m not in any hurry.  I’m mostly just curious to see what happens to my onion skins and dryer lint if I let nature have her way with them.

So this week we’re taking our compost bin to a quiet corner of the park to dump it and watch what happens.  We’ll be able to check up on it, turn it, and keep it free of trash on our weekly runs.  I wonder what kinds of Indian worms will pop up to help process it!