How to compost your black bin scraps

Sure you know it’s environmental and delicious but how do you compost your meal scraps when you’re learning the ropes. The classic black bin makes a great waste hot-for-discards for the kinds of food you can’t leave to go bad, like seafood or dairy, so it’s a good place to start getting in the habit of reducing food waste.

But what about your son’s birthday cake, that half-eaten crusty pizza you’ve been trying to throw away but can’t because you’ll get creative with it? That used potato, that round vegetable blobs you grabbed off the sidewalk that day but can’t chuck straight into the compost pile? It’s this stubborn food that have people and organizations around the world calling for more waste prevention, so you can be sure people want to do the right thing in regard to this black bin phenomenon.

So what do you do when you start to feel a bit too tied up in black bin waste and want to be a little more productive with your black bin? There’s an alternative to slashing that waste without it feeling like a sacrifice.

We spoke to Aaron Davis who is the co-founder of the Atlanta-based biogas, bioremediation and neighborhood tree planting company called California Asparagus Energy (CAE) to find out more about just that, composting. Davis told us how composting works in a homeowner’s black bin (he also has a compost bin of his own, so that’s an experience he’s well-versed in).

Ease into it

It’s all about making it clear to your kids that it’s okay to use the trash can instead of the black bin. Davis says “you only need one bag to store a big bag of food waste, and there are many ways to help kids get the hint. While they do not need to be composted and should be in a permanent trash bin, kids do not like to do this and often see their trash cans removed in favor of an empty black bin.”

Infuse nutrition

Just like a garden, if you have food scraps from the kitchen that have no nutritional value, don’t compost them. They are not good for your environment, and you’re just not doing your community or food banks any favors.

But make sure you feed your black bin food scraps! That’s not the sort of thing you will teach your kids, but one of the best ways to teach food safety is to clean the whole area around your bin, so why not incorporate it into the rest of your nutrition education. Davis offers this suggestion: “Put out popsicles and fruit juice for your waste to use as a natural fertiliser and you’ll save on those always-troublesome plastic food containers!”

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