Ready for Kitchen Composting? Get Started with These Tips

Although it may be less about food waste prevention and more about food waste management, composting helps reduce methane gas by keeping food out of landfills. But what if you don't have space for an outdoor compost pile? Many consumers are turning to countertop composting. Here are some tips for keeping your kitchen composting efforts on track.

5 Ways to Stop the Stink

  1. If vermicomposting, don’t add more food than the worms can digest.
  2. Keep the bin environment at room temperature.
  3. Temporarily stop adding moist food scraps add dry matter, such as newspaper.
  4. Add some calcium carbonate or ground egg shells cut back on citrus scraps to reduce acidity.
  5. If you compost with an aeration method, add more shredded newspaper or add more holes to your composting bin.

@FoodNutriMag Twitter Poll

Do you use a countertop composting bin?

24% Yes | 76% No
(29 votes)

We Asked

If you have a countertop compost bin, let us know. If not, what’s stopping you? Here is what you said:

  • "We have a bucket with a lid under our sink for composting… works like a charm!" @happyhealthyrd
  • "My friend tried for a while, but complained about the smell." @thespicyrd
  • "I store in the freezer and then bring to the @nycgreenmarket every week. You avoid smells and a lot of mess." @joanne_brooklyn
  • "I had one in NYC that I used to bring to the @nycgreenmarket weekly, but not sure where to bring compost in Chicago." @thefoodtherapist
    Psst! Chicagoans can bring their food scraps to Green City Market’s Compost Center tent! You can learn more here:

Try a Wormless Aeration

If keeping your compost bin under the kitchen sink or in a closet doesn’t stave your worm willies, try a wormless aeration method in which exposure to air promotes aerobic decomposition of food scraps, or even an electric composter that mixes, heats and aerates scraps into compost.

Ban the Buzz

Fruit skins (usually banana peels) may contain fruit fly larvae, so if you have an active infestation, try using a commercial or homemade fruit fly trap and hold off on adding any more food to the bin until the flies are gone.

Food Waste Info for Nutrition Professionals

A new report on food waste and opportunities for nutrition professionals is slated this spring for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Visit! You can sign up for email alerts when new articles are published.

Diane Quagliani
Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, is president of Quagliani Communications, Inc., a nutrition communications firm in Western Springs, Ill.