Y’all, we throw away a lot of food in America. Wouldn’t it be awesome if every home in the U.S. found a way to recycle kitchen scraps, yard waste, and anything compostable?
Composting all this “living trash” allows us to:
- Reduce landfill waste: Did you know that our U.S. landfills contain an average of 20 tons of trash per person!?
- Prevent harmful gases: Landfills produce carbon dioxide and methane gas, which contribute to pollution and global warming.
- Increase soil fertility: Compost is highly valuable to gardeners and farmers. It produces healthier plants with fewer harmful chemicals.
The good news is that it really is possible for every American home to recycle kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other “living trash”. Here’s how…
4 Easy Ways to Recycle Kitchen Scraps
Starting your own compost pile is the easiest way to recycle kitchen scraps. It doesn’t have to be complicated: use a bucket, a big trash can, or buy one of those fancy compost tumblers. You can also section off a corner of the yard and throw compost directly on the ground.
We keep two stainless steel compost buckets next to our kitchen sink. My middle son, pictured above, is our designated compost-taker-outer.
Get a few chickens! They’ll turn your kitchen scraps into nutritious pastured eggs.
At my house, most of our food waste is recycled into pastured eggs and pork. Pigs will eat anything except avocado pits, citrus rinds, and onions.
Many areas boast innovative composting programs, with a mix of public and private initiatives. Do a quick online search to see if anyone in your area offers a regular pick up or drop off location for compostable kitchen scraps and yard waste.
I guarantee that any organic gardener or sustainable farmer in your area would be delighted to accept your kitchen scraps, leaves from your yard, and probably a bunch of other things too. Even if you live in the city, I promise there is a master gardener program, an urban farm, or an organic gardener near you.
My own farm is now accepting kitchen scraps from our awesome farm customers. We even provide food grade buckets that contain the odor, so you can stash your bucket under the kitchen sink or in the garage.
What to Compost
If your living trash goes to a community compost program, a local farm, or a gardening friend, you’ll obviously want to check on their composting criteria. Otherwise, here are a few guidelines for composting kitchen scraps.
- Fruit & vegetable scraps
- Egg shells
- Coffee grounds
- Loose leaf tea
- Grains (bread, pizza crust, rice, oatmeal, etc.)
And maybe this:
Again, it depends on the destination of your kitchen scraps. On our farm, absolutely all food waste is recycled.
- Meats & bones
- Cheese & dairy
- Avocado pits
- Citrus peels
- Tea bags
Most paper & cardboard products can be composted.
- Paper towels
- Facial tissues
- Cardboard tubes
Don’t forget about yard waste!
- Grass clippings
- Branches & twigs – shredded
How do you recycle kitchen scraps at your house? Do you have questions about composting?
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…