Turn Your Trash Into Food!

Sarah Murali
Posted June 23, 2016 from United States
Vertical Compost Bin Made of Plastic Crates
These two plastic crates stacked on top of one another are my compost bin. New crates can be added on top when I run out of space (or to act as a lid). When the bottom crate is finished composting and turns to good soil, it will be emptied and moved to the top to start the cycle again!
Eggshells in the Garden
Eggshells in the Garden: Some items don't need to be composted to be good for your garden. I often crush eggshells and add them directly to my garden, both to enrich the soil and to try to keep out slugs (though I'm still deciding how effective it has been as a slug-deterrent!) (1/1)

In my house, food scraps AREN'T trash -- they are future food! My family and I compost food scraps (as well as any other plant material, and even some paper). Basically, composting means we leave them to rot until they become dirt. But compost isn't just any dirt. Compost is exceptionally rich dirt that is a perfect addition to your vegetable garden. In other words, your trash today becomes your food tomorrow!

My family and I recently moved into a new house. Right away, I wanted to start composting, but I didn't want to just throw all my old food into a pile! A loose pile of rotten food will attract animals. Not to mention, it's difficult to sort out the fully composted soil from still-decomposing scraps when I'm ready to put it to use! I also didn't want to spend any money on the project, so I looked around online for a creative solution. The picture above is what I came up with! I saw a post on Pinterest where someone was using old plastic crates as a compost bin. I had a few of those sitting around, so I gave it a try! These are the first two crates in my "compost tower" and, ideally, I will add an empty third crate to the top (to act as a lid). You can also line the crates with mesh, netting, or even paper if you want to provide added protection from rummaging animals getting in, or food scraps and soil falling out -- just be sure that air can still circulate freely to speed up composting and decrease odors!

In this system, the bottom crate has the oldest compost. I like this design because I can easily take the stacked crates apart, mix up the old compost if it needs a stir, or use the finished soil without having to pick out un-composted material. I can also add a third or a fourth crate if I need more space. Once the material in the bottom crate is fully composted, I'll spread it on my garden and move the empty crate to the top so the cycle can continue. The crates also provide so much ventilation that the compost doesn't smell bad as it decomposes.

I'd love to see your composting systems, and I'm happy to answer questions if you're interested in trying to compost yourself!


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Nusrat Ara
Jun 27, 2016
Jun 27, 2016

Thanks Sarah for sharing your experience. Composting makes a considerable reduction in the waste generated by a household, making it a bit easier to handle the rest of the waste. The problem in my place is there is almost no segregation, making treatment of waste a messy affair. It all ends in a landfill which makes the whole city stink in summer.