You’ve whipped up an incredible meal for your family. Naturally, you have some vegetable or bread scraps you didn’t use. You don’t want to throw them in the garbage. Then a thought enters your mind - COMPOSTING!

Did you know 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten? This means we throw out about $165 billion of food each year!

Read on for ways to start your compost pile at home and put your food waste to good use!

How to Make Compost from Kitchen Waste

Start your kitchen compost pile by placing a lidded bucket or small pail with a lid under your sink or on your countertop.

What should you put in compost to start?

Now you are ready to start composting. You will need to determine what items you can add to your composting pile. Not everything you eat is good for a compost pile, so pay attention as you are depositing. Try composting these common household items:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains and bread
  • Coffee grounds
  • Shredded paper napkins, cardboard cereal boxes, and coffee filters

When your kitchen container is full, dump it into your outdoor compost pile using layering techniques. Make sure this pile is in a shaded area.

  • Start with a layer of brown material (dried leaves, cardboard, wood chips, etc.) at the bottom of your pile.
  • Then, add layers of food waste.
  • Repeat the layering process to keep odors down.

Layering creates diversity in nutrients and microbes and helps your pile break down faster!

What Not to Compost

Most kitchen scraps can be used in a compost pile, but stay away from saving meats, fats, oils, dairy products, and bones. These items are slow to break down, tend to attract pesky raccoons and create nasty odors.

How long does it take to make compost?

Because no two compost piles are alike, the timeline of the composting process varies. It depends on the size of the pile, materials in the pile and how often you turn it. With frequent turning, your pile can be ready in as little as 3 months!

You’ll l know it’s ready to use when it becomes dark brown and crumbly. You should not be able to recognize what it originally was.

Read to start composting? Learn how to add leaves to your compost pile outside!

Related Blog Posts

Leaves In Yard
Property Maintenance & Landscaping

Managing Fallen Leaves In Your Yard

Are dead leaves harmful to plants or soil? Here are the benefits of fallen leaves and tips on how to best manage fallen leaves in your yard.
Read More
How To Mulch
Soil Care & Mulching

The Proper Way to Mulch Your Trees

Take a tip from trees in the natural setting when you tackle mulching. Proper tree mulching helps trees retain water, combat weeds and regulate soil temperature.
Read More

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!

Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. View our Privacy Policy for more information.