Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yucky Eco-Chore #37

Cleaning Out The Compost Bucket

Our compost bucket is a 4 quart Tupperware container that sits under the sink. It collects all our errant veggie scraps, fruit cores and the occasional half a peanut-butter-and-fluff sandwich (Yes, I am the Nutritious Mom Of the Year). Every other day or so it gets dumped outside into the compost bin. But it only gets washed out once a month or whenever it really starts to "get its funk on".

So needless to say, come washday, it's pretty stink-o-rific. Basically, it smells like ass. So I run some hot water in it while pumping in a couple squirts of Dr. Bonners Peppermint Castille Soap.

Now it smells like peppermint ass.

I think I'll just put the top back on and stick it back under the sink.

23 comments:

greeen sheeep said...

Ha ha! Ours smells like athlete's foot and ass. Yucky!

The other day I opened the lid and had a freak out moment, until I realized I was looking at dryer lint.

Wendy said...

We do worm composting so, ya, I hear your pain. What I've discovered that works beautifully is the following... after washing it out, pour in a few glugs of white vinegar (maybe half a cup) and fill it up with hot water and let it sit a few hours. Added bonus, sometimes this lures and drowns errant fruit flies that are still hanging around. I swear the vinegar smell goes away pretty quickly leaving no smell at all.

LimeSarah said...

Soaking the bucket in vinegar can help a lot...though then, it does smell like vinegar, which may or may not be better.

Robj98168 said...

You have such a way with words- LOL LOL I know waht ass smells like- you forget my job!

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

Yep vinegar rocks! :) Now if I could get the hubby to take out the compost before we have 3 tupperware containers full. *gag* I can't because the compost lid is covered in spiders on the bottom. Can not do it. *shivers*

ib mommy said...

Dammit, woman, now I have blackberry seeds all over my monitor from choking on the laughter. I should know better than to read your blog while I'm eating!

My youngest ate a pb&fluff sammich every day for lunch last year, but you win the prize for creative composting on that one.

Maybe you should switch from peppermint ass flavored tupperware to a glass or ceramic container!

Kiashu said...

We also use 4lt buckets - old ice cream containers.

When the compost bucket gets too stinky, that means it's time for another container, time to eat another 4lt of icecream.

We find this a very efficient system.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Someone told me to put baking soda in it, so I did. Just turned into nasty sludge that was even harder to clean out. I just hold my nose while rinsing it in the sink and then put the lid on real fast.

Some people use bio-bags, the wimps.

CT said...

I just developed a system that works for me (previous non-working systems included a very dirty bucket): I line the bottom of the container (plastic Trader Joe's cookie container) with a piece of newspaper or scrap paper, which gets dumped into the compost along with everything else. That means the container doesn't have much gross stuff stuck to it. Then I just stick it in the sink and wash dishes over it so it gets good and rinsed out. Much less stinky and disgusting.

leslie said...

Noassatol works pretty good :)

Wendy said...

My husband cleans our compost bucket. You should try that method. It works really well for me ;).

jennconspiracy said...

I just use a stainless steel bowl - and I dump it after I finish washing the dishes (tapping out my sink drain strainer) and sweep the floor (all the cat hair and dust goes in the bowl).

That makes it much easier to clean. Though, being a vegan and dealing with a lot of fresh produce, er, projects, I often have to dump the bowl several times in the course of an evening.

Rosa said...

The really bad smells are anaerobic decomposition, and mold. The absolute worst strongest smell ever is the horrible slime of old beans stored in plasticware. Ugh.

The lid makes it worse, and so does having lots of wet stuff. I really liked using a 5 gallon bucket, no lid, half full of shredded junkmail to soak up all the liquids. Also, the cat didn't eat out of it because she couldn't figure out how to not fall in. Total win.

Except the toddler LOVED to snack out of it, as soon as he got tall enough. So we switched to the ice cream bucket method someone mentioned above. I usually leave the icky one outside to be cleansed by nature (that is, frozen & licked by feral cats) until the new one is disgusting, then switch them out.

psuklinkie said...

I went to a worm composting class before starting my bin and took the great advice of the teacher: instead of keeping a bucket under your sink to get stinky (and anaerobic.. bad for the wormies!), I keep a gallon size ziploc bag in the freezer and put all my scraps into it. I reuse the bag many times (washing it with soap and hot water between uses) before I throw out the now-defunct bag. Less waste, less smell, and happier worms! (just make sure to totally defrost the food before feeding time).
Of course, if you have room, you could stick a hard container (appropriated ice cream container, perhaps) into the freezer to the same end, but the ziploc bag works really well at being flexible in my tiny apartment kitchen.

Disco Nights said...

It may have some ammonia, and that will clear your nose, if you have a cold.

Robj98168 said...

I dont sniff the frozen dough container I use for my scrap bucket.
Please send two peanut-butter-and-fluff sandwiches my way.

Chile said...

I use a small bucket for compost scraps and it sits right on my kitchen counter. (Ew, gross.) Actually, it's motivation to keep it from getting too disgusting.

It is emptied every night. I usually rinse it out, too, and dump the water on the grapefruit tree next to the hose.

When it gets icky, there's an old bottle of dish soap and a scrubby brush right next to the hose outside so I can clean it quickly and easily. If it needs soaking, it's left full of water by the supplies overnight. I remember it as soon as I have something inside that needs to get composted.

No ass smells in my house...well, except the dog farts.

Lynn from organicmania.com said...

Wow! You got a lot of feedback on this post!

Like some others, I keep ours on the counter, in an old plastic storage container that I can no longer use for food storage because it's plastic...oh, no, which raises the question..is it leaching into the compost, which then leaches into the Earth, which then gets into the veggie garden, which gets into us...which....arggh, this green stuff can make you crazy!!

Anonymous said...

That's why from day one I decided to keep mine in the freezer until I want to dump it. I am lazy and only add to the compost pile about once a fortnight, and I can't imagine how bad it would smell if I left it out!

Tracey Smith said...

I have 3 children and it's 'their' weekly nominated task to empty and rinse out (from the outside tap or from water in the wheelbarrow) the compost container!

The system works well. If you have kids, don't have that dog and bark yourself!

Best,
TS

Anonymous said...

We just use a ceramic bowl, on the countertop next to the sink (not as gross as it sounds) and dump it out once every day or two. It goes in the dishwasher, and I've never noticed any smells. I keep thinking that we should get one of those ceramic "classic trash-can" looking doo-dads so that we can put a lid on it, but this is working for now.

miriam said...

I suggest ditching the plastic bowl and using a ziploc bag that you keep in the freezer. No smell, and when it's full, dump it in the bin. Then you can put the empty bag back in the freezer. No mess, no smell, it's simple!

Lexi and Jenny said...

We keep ours in a tupperware in the freezer. No smell! If you have room, I highly recommend this method.