Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Perfect Counter Compost Collector

This week being Earth Week, lots of stores have been running specials on eco-items. The most ecologically responsible thing we can all do is to STOP buying new stuff, so I try not to pitch purchases on my blog, unless an item has really contributed to my quality of life. My counter swing-top mini-can has been just such an object. I saw one at my brother's and looked high and low until I found one online from a food service catalog; when I saw one advertised in the NYTimes, I decided it was useful to share it.
This one is featured as eco-plastic from The Container Store. It is sourced, presumably, from something other than petroleum. This has end-of-life benefit as well. But its main virtue is that it's just the right size to sit on your countertop and collect your compost. The swing top means you can perform this task one handed, and still have the benefit of keeping the compost covered. And it's inexpensive.
So, if you're on the fence about composting, perhaps this little $4.99 item will get your over the hurdle. I've been composting for about four years. It's one of those habits that once you're used to, it seems really bizarre to just throw food scraps away or run them through the disposal. The best argument for composting I've ever heard was someone pointing out that the average American disposal is better fed than many of the world's children.


Julie Hankin said...

That's interesting! Question: Do the food scraps get smelly in there (and become a problem, wafting out of the swinging lid)? I use one of those stainless steel countertop kitchen scrap pails that uses a charcoal filter, and it's amazing the degree to which old onions and broccoli in combination with the rest tend to smell after a few days sitting out at room temperature -- but it's undetectable until the cover comes off. So is that not a problem with the swinging lid of this rather cute item?

Anonymous said...

My mother used an old (enamelware) cooking pot with a tight lid. I'd think ants (and other bugs) might be attracted to the open swinging lid.

I suppose if a person emptied and rinsed the swinging lid container every day it would be OK. I certainly looks "better" but no less functional than the pot with the lid. You could get one of those old pots at a yard sale for not much money.

Betsy Teutsch said...

The compost smells after a few days. I just reuse plastic bags for liners. We put a lot of coffee grounds in, so once in awhile it gets a little leaky so I just take the whole can out, instead of the bag.
A pot with a lid works, too, but aesthetically I like the can better. I've not had a problem with ants, but perhaps that's just regional luck, they're not that common here.
If I were doing it again, I'd order the can in black, since it doesn't show any staining.

rebmoti said...

And what do you do with the compost, once you have it? Do you garden? When we lived in IL we had a veg garden and composted for it, but living in rental property with bad sun we don't know what we would do with it.