Mini Compost

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I’ve recently noticed my bin does much better when left untouched for a few weeks or more.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my food waste…

I’ve also realized that since I cook so often, I usually need to put food in the bin every couple of days with my old paper bag system so I’ve started testing a new system.

The City of Toronto provides the bins above to collect food waste for their green bin program.

I’ve started using the bin as a mini compost.

I put down a bit of bedding (shredded paper) added a layer of worms and compost, then added food waste. Ideally you’d also cover it with damp newspaper if you can but I don’t always remember.

This mini bin doesn’t work as well as a large bin because the worms cant access the food on top easily. It would probably work better if the food was more chopped up but that requires more time than just putting it in the large bin.

So I find using this bin setup for a week or so (usually until it’s full), then moving it to the big bin allows the worms in the big bin to be less disturbed and saves me a trip or two to the large bin. It also helps prevent fruit flies since I’d sometimes forget to move the food to the large bin and fruit flies would sometimes appear.

It’s also nice because when you dump the container into the larger bin the worms at the bottom end up on top so it automatically buries the food.

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2 comments

  1. That’s interesting that an undisturbed bin will produce compost faster than a frequently fed one. I started worm composting last spring, and often when I added food scraps I would mix the paper and composted areas to control moisture and to speed up the process. I guess I was accomplishing just the opposite.

    Since I harvested the worms, and restarted the bin, I have been trying not to disturb the bin, other than add food scraps and fresh paper on top. I haven’t noticed of this speeds the process but it does seem more natural, forming layers of soil with fresh bedding on top.

    Don’t you find you get fruit flies in your mini-bin?

    • Thanks for sharing Peter!

      Yeah I find the worms do better when left on their own, maybe it’s just that it composts more evenly so it seems faster? Or maybe it was just faster to use because there were more sections of fully composted compost?

      Funny you should mention fruit flies because I also started this because of fruit flies. When I added compost regularly the fruit flies kept escaping into my home but I found that keeping the compost covered with paper and opening it less meant the flies would hatch but not escape. I’ve had less flies since starting this, but it could also be the time of year.

      My small bit doesn’t have fruit flies but again it could be the time of year.

      If you decide to try this out, let me know if you notice anything different 🙂

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