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Countertop Compostable Waste Container
Old 12-05-2009, 05:29 PM   #1
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Countertop Compostable Waste Container

Seattle has a compost law. Apartment dwellers are exempt, but my building has a compost bin that is picked up weekly and if I can get a container cheaply I would like to go ahead and segregate my compost waste so I might feel more socially useful and green and hip.

Tony kitchen stores are full of attractive bamboo or stainless or ceramic containers, but mostly $30 and up.

I will empty it at least daily and likely more often if I am cooking a lot.

Anyone seen anything cheap and easily cleanable and OK looking?

Ha
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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You can use anything with a lid. I have a stainless steel pail with a lid, but it was probably close to $30. And I keep it under my sink. If you drink coffee, use the empty can with the lid. Or a Tupperware container would work. Just make sure to rinse/clean it when you dump it.

What I find, is the empty container ends up smelling like vomit because I don't empty mine daily. So then I soak it with dishsoap and bleach in the water. That's why I like my stainless one, it doesn't absorb the smells.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:54 PM   #3
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Perhaps you could use a flower pot and place a saucer/plate on top if you want to keep it on your counter. Otherwise, I'd go with the coffee can as previously suggested.

ooooh...how about a cookie jar. You would have to be careful with that one if someone came over though....
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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When I had a compost pile I would put veggie scraps and such in a plastic shopping bag in the bigger garbage bag. When the garbage was full, I'd take the bag out to my pile, and then put the empty in the garbage. It worked well for me, I'd just keep the bag on top.

Of course a lot of people shop with reusable bags, but I didn't have any then.

I don't keep a compost pile where I'm at now because of bears, raccoons, etc.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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An old plastic ice cream container. Why leave it on the countertop when under the sink will do just as nicely?
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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We just use a large "Tupperware" type of sealable plastic of about 1 gallon capacity. Not hip, but not too ugly, either.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:58 AM   #7
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I just started composting and I actually find I prefer not to have a cover so that my scraps dry out. I can go for days between emptying the compost, so this approach lets my scraps dry out rather than begin the smelly composting process in my kitchen. I've heard others complain of fruit flies without a cover but it hasn't been an issue for me. So I just put my compost in a recently disposed compostable container (e.g. milk carton or ice cream container) which I will then carry to the compost. Nothing to wash.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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Small garbage can under the sink with plastic grocery bag. To absorb the juices of my compostables, I rip up a newspaper (vegetable dye) first & put into the bottom of the bag. When full, dump on the composte pile, including the newspaper.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:43 AM   #9
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Growing up we just used an open metal bucket.

When I composted here I used a plastic bucket with lid. Cover your fresh scrapes in with a wet piece of newspaper or paper towel before you put the lid on, it keeps the smells down and helps with fruit flies.

I quit composting food scraps, too many animals in the compost pile.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:28 AM   #10
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We just use a large "Tupperware" type of sealable plastic of about 1 gallon capacity. Not hip, but not too ugly, either.
True. I should say that my comment about hip was an attempt to lampoon myself. The last 68 year old hipster I knew about was Dexter Gordon- and he was only 67 when he died, so I think hip is likely beyond me no matter what I use.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

Ha
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #11
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True. I should say that my comment about hip was an attempt to lampoon myself. The last 68 year old hipster I knew about was Dexter Gordon- and he was only 67 when he died, so I think hip is likely beyond me no matter what I use.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

Ha
Ha, you're pretty hip in my book.

Me? I need a hip replacement...
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:29 PM   #12
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Solid copper bucket with loose fitting flat lid, made in Turkey.
I bought it from a gardener's supply company online on sale, during the winter. I do compost (cold method) in coldweather using an outdoor tumbler composter.
No dairy, no meat, no grains or phew! Spent Coffee grounds help keep it "fresh". Allow grounds to dry out a bit first right in the paper filter. I simply raise the lid above the filter basket and let it dry out all day.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:00 AM   #13
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We compost a lot for our garden but one way to handle kitchen scraps is to put them in a sealed baggie and keep them in the freezer. Solves the smell issue and periodically we toss the frozen mix into the compost bin.

Coffee grounds are different, they smell great.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:31 AM   #14
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Why no grains? I dump the spent grains from my brewing efforts (20 to 30 pounds at a time) into the heap and they seem to break down in a hurry.

Ha, I would vote for keeping whatever container you have under the sink. If you are not really frequently emptying the container, well, as Homer Simpson said when he visited Jane Goodall's hut:

"So, your home smells of feces. And not just monkey feces!"
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:32 PM   #15
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Just be sure that whatever container you choose has smooth sides all the way to the lip. You do not want one with a lip that forms a barrier to sliding the stuff out so that the lid sits nicely. This is the voice of experience.

I had my eye on that copper bucket too, but never bought it.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:11 AM   #16
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We compost a lot for our garden but one way to handle kitchen scraps is to put them in a sealed baggie and keep them in the freezer. Solves the smell issue and periodically we toss the frozen mix into the compost bin.

Coffee grounds are different, they smell great.
I've been accumulating compostables in the freezer too. I just keep a compostable plastic bag in there. This was suggested on one of the videos put out by our public utility when the food waste composting program started earlier this year. I've been waiting for a day like today (predicted high 30 degrees) to put the frozen stuff out in my yard waste bin. I think when I start to accumulate frozen materials again I will put the bag into some sort of container to keep it tidier in there.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:55 AM   #17
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If I was emptying it out every night into the apartment's compost collection bin, I think I'd use a glass or ceramic cannister with a cover, as it wouldn't corrode and wouldn't absorb any odors. You could keep a ceramic container on the counter as the scraps would be hidden.

You'll always be hip in my book, ha.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:35 PM   #18
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We have this:
Kitchen Compost Crocks | Buy from Gardener's Supply

We use the little bags and it works like a charm. No odor, no mess. And we leave it out on the counter.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:15 PM   #19
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I also see no need for a cover. There's rarely any smell from the small pail that we have under the sink, and if there is, I just take out the compost.

I had a smaller pail, but then I figured that if I got a taller pail and took it out when it was half-full, there would be less chance of overflow. It didn't work out that way.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Anyone seen anything cheap and easily cleanable and OK looking?

Ha
My DH eats mass quantities of yogurt that comes in plastic tubs. I keep an empty tub next to the sink, put compostables in it, and dump it every day or two outside, then rinse and reuse the tub. When it gets too organic, I toss the tub. They are not recyclable here.

I keep it covered for sure. I have house plants that are prone to fungus gnats, and we have a lot of fresh fruit on the counter that sometimes brings in fruit flies. As a biologist I am fascinated by the interaction, but DH, less so. He's happier now that I've found an airtight and bugtight compost container. The price is right, too.
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