Low Trash Month: Adventures in Composting

Low Trash Month: Adventures in Composting

When it comes to food scraps, I thought I would have a free pass; after all, I have a dog and a garbage disposal. But on the day I collected all my trash, I was surprised by the amount of food waste I created that Spencer couldn’t eat (That’s him above. Isn’t he cute?) and I couldn’t wash away down my sink. My food scraps typically include edamame pods, cherry pits and stems, broccoli and asparagus stems, avocado peels and pits, egg shells and more.

I’m not interested in composting at home with worms and what not. I only have one plant—a Christmas cactus that has been with me for the past decade—so I’m not in the market for rich soil. Plus, I remember our super stinky compost pile in our yard growing up. It was on the edges and, let’s just say, you would never chose to hide behind it during a game of hide and seek. The worms for at-home composting are supposed to be odor free, but then, you have worms in your kitchen.

compost

Instead, I opted to bring my food scraps to my local farmer’s market where you can drop them off for communal composting. Throughout the week, I placed all my food scraps in a plastic bag in my freezer. The scraps were out of site and because they were in my freezer, they didn’t get stinky. Come Saturday morning, I walked over to the farmer’s market with Spencer and my frozen food scraps and added my collection to the pile. It really couldn’t have been easier and I plan to start doing this on a regular basis. All Greenmarkets in NYC have a composting station.

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Why compost?

According to GrowNYC.org:

Food comprises about 17% of NYC’s waste stream. When this material is sent to a landfill it contributes to NYC’s disposal costs and can create greenhouse gas emissions. When composted, food scraps and other organic waste become a useful product that adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more.

In addition to using plastic bags, which admittedly aren’t ideal, you can collect scraps in milk cartons, paper bags or yogurt containers.

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