11 April 2009
The first question I'm usually asked about composting is about the smell. Smell in the outdoor bin, smell in whatever storage container I use to collect scraps in the kitchen.
As to the outdoor bin, there is no smell (aside from the clean, fresh smell of earth) if the mix is good with green and brown waste and moisture. [If there's a noticeable odor, then it's possible the green waste outweighs the brown, or the bin is too wet -- in either case, add more brown waste in the form of dried leaves, shredded newspaper, etc.]
And as to the indoor bin... well, there might be a little odor. Some indoor collection bins are airtight to contain any odor, but the airtightness means no moisture evaporates, leaving the bin more than willing to grow mold. Most of these types of collection bins include replaceable carbon filters to handle the odor that results.
I'm encouraged that The Container Store now sells waste bins specifically for holding kitchen waste on its way to the composter. The store offers two good-looking bins -- see the bamboo bin above. Both are airtight with carbon filters.
I use a somewhat less counter-friendly bin that's aerated on all sides, so mold is much less of an issue. I keep the bin under my sink, and frankly, if I smell any odor when I open it, that reminds me it's probably time to empty it, either in the outdoor bin or in the worm bin.
Posted by JenGreen