FOOD WASTE COMPOST
Food waste represents about 30% of waste that goes to landfill. When trashed in landfill, your food scraps decompose underground and produce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, four times more potent that carbon dioxide. By contrast when composted, food scarps turn into rich nutriments for your soil while reducing waste that goes to landfill.
Vegetable and fruit waste, meal leftovers, coffee grounds, tea bags, stale bread, grains, and general refrigerator spoilage are some of the food scraps that can be composted. Different composting methods exist. Vermicomposting and Bokahsi are indoor solutions. Compost bin or tumbler for larger outdoor space.
Vermicomposting implies the use of worms, red wigglers, to break down organic matter. Placed in a bin filled with soil, the worms will break down your food scraps into a rich nutriment which can then be used in potted plant or in your garden. Citrus, dairy products and meat cannot be composting using this method. Decomposition takes between 3 to 6 months.
Bokashi composting is a fermentation method originated in Japan. The Bokashi method uses a special air-tight bucket and microorganisms (Bokashi bran) to decompose food waste. After about 4 weeks, the pre-compost is ready to be buried in a fallow spot in your garden. After couple of months (depending on weather), your food scraps have turned into nutriments and can be used for gardening. Unlike all other composting solutions, this method allows to compost egg shells, dairy, citrus and some type of meat.
Compost tumbler - A tumbler is a barrel that can be turned and rolled. Yard and kitchen wastes are placed in the chamber and broken down, as in the compost bin method, by microbes and other living organisms fueled by oxygen. Decomposition takes couple of months.
Compost bin - If you have outdoor space you can get a compost bin to start composting your food scraps. You can either build your own bin or acquire a plastic one. Compost bin requires food waste, some yard trim waste, leaves and some water. It takes about 6 months, depending on the weather and the organic matter, to decompose your waste. The City of houston is having annual compost bin sale and training.
You can also look for a community garden in your neighborhood that will accept either your food scraps or your semi-finished compost. Share Waste is an online platform connecting people who wish to recycle their kitchen scraps with their neighbors who are already composting. Check it out to see if there is a compost near you.
For more detailed information on composting check the Take care of Texas "Mulching and Composting Guide"