Homemade Kitchen Compost

Homemade Kitchen Compost

Give plants a boost of nutrients and reduce your household waste through composting.

With an in-home compost bin, you can reduce your household waste and repurpose it for your garden at the same time. The kitchen is full of compost-friendly materials, which makes it a convenient place to start encouraging daily composting. Ready to get started? We’ll teach you how to make your own bin, what to put in it and just where you can use your newly fertile soil.

Creating a Kitchen Compost Bin
Making your own indoor compost bin is so convenient! Just follow our simple directions to turn day-to-day waste into fertile soil for your garden or indoor plants.

Sealable container
1/4-inch drill bit
Charcoal air filter (optional)
Tape or glue
Decorative scrapbook paper


  1. Locate a sealable container you can use as your kitchen compost bin. Coffee containers, tins, plastic ice cream containers and small buckets all make great options.
  2. Clean out your container with dish soap and water
  3. Use your drill and 1/4-inch drill bit to create a series of holes in the lid of the container that will allow air to circulate

  4. Optionally, use a charcoal air filter from a pet or home and garden store to minimize compost odors. This type of filter is often used in litter boxes and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Take your lid to the store with you and find a filter that’s at least large enough to covers the lid’s holes
  5. Tape or glue the filter to the inside of the lid. When it comes time to replace, simply pull off the filter and attach a new one
  6. Measure the height and circumference of your container, and use scissors to cut your scrapbook paper to the appropriate dimensions. Wrap the scrapbook paper around the container and either glue or tape in place
  7. Once completed and filled, store your compost under the kitchen sink, or in a closet, cabinet, pantry or garage

Compost Upkeep
Every other day, either shake your kitchen compost to circulate air or remove the lid and use a spade or kitchen utensil to stir the mixture.

Tip: Apprehensive of potential odors? You shouldn’t notice much odor, if any, as long as you empty out your kitchen compost weekly into a larger compost outdoors. As an additional safeguard, consider adding the odor filter.

Filling Your Compost Bin
Many items will be able to go into your kitchen compost, but exceptions to this rule include meat, fish, dairy and cooked foods. Items like coffee grounds, grass clippings and fruit and vegetable scraps will decompose faster, so try pairing them with items that break down slower, like newspaper, to assist with the natural composting process.

Compost-Friendly Materials


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  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Cardboard rolls
  • Egg shells
  • Nut shells
  • Seafood shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Lint
  • Pencil shavings
  • Old spices
  • Stale bread
  • Tea bags and grounds
  • Pet hair
  • Fruit and vegetable peels
  • Shredded paper: napkins, mail, tissues, newspaper and paper towels

Using Your Compost

  • Freshen Up the Garden: From flowers to shrubs, mix your compost into the soil that surrounds the base of plants in your garden.
  • Feed Houseplants: Provide a fresh dose of nutrients for houseplants by blending compost into the top 1-2 inches of soil. Flower boxes, hanging flowers and patio plants can also benefit.
  • Host a Party: Gather friends for a planting party and catch up while potting seeds in your new soil. To make each pot unique, try some of our fun container ideas.

Do you have any composting words of wisdom and useful gardening tips? Help others successfully get started by sharing your tips below.

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