RSVP Stainless Steel Compost Pail $39.99
from the Grist Store at Amazon
Food and paper make up the largest percentage of items in most landfills, food waste is considered the #1 least recycled material. The nature of today’s landfills are such that food waste often doesn’t break down properly and contributes to landfills producing methane – a harmful greenhouse gas.
Large urban areas often have to ship the garbage to distant, rural landfills, using fleets of trucks spewing tons of greenhouse gases into the air on a daily basis. At the same time farms use chemical fertilizers to grow their crops that contributes to pollution and soil degradation. Finding ways to reduce landfill waste and generate sources of rich, organic fertilizer is clearly the way to go.
I read Elizabeth Royte awesome book, Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash recently, who gives an excellent account of her investigations into all things pertaining to garbage and has much useful information on composting. The wonderful and ever fascinating everydaytrash blog has a terrific interview with Ms. Royte well worth the read.
Organic waste composting, if done by enough people, could start to make a big difference. You might think you need to live a the country or have a big garden to bother with composting but many urban dwellings are finding great benefit to apartment composting. Many urban areas have composting centers where you can drop off food waste to be composted. You can also compost your food waste using a variety of means right in your apartment.
VermiComposting or worm composting is one good solution for city folks to compost right in their kitchen. Composters.com has a wide range of worm bins and other worm compositing products – even the worms.
Some people might not relish the idea of having so many worms chowing down in their kitchen and prefer something a bit classier, to better match the stainless steel. Grist.com has an amazon store http://astore.amazon.com/gristmagazine?_encoding=UTF8&node=29 that sells a wide variety of composting devices from for the urban kitchen. A popular model good for small composting in the kitchen is the RSVP Stainless Steel Compost Pail shown at the top of this article. Here is a good review and discussion of the compost pail on apartmenttherapy.com
NatureMill Automatic Composter
A higher end (and far more expensive at $399.00) high tech composting solution for the kitchen is offered by NatureMill with their automatic composter. They state on their website “A computer controls the temperature, air flow, moisture, and mixing to accelerate the process and eliminate the backbreaking work. Everything is fully self contained in an modern, attractive container. Just a few square feet of floor space is required. No special plumbing or electrical connections are needed, other than a standard electrical outlet. There is no need to handle and transport the rotting material.” They claim it only uses a minimal amount of electricity needed for the computer and mixing – the benefit of the higher temperatures will speed up the composting so that every two weeks you have your compost ready for your house plants, garden, etc.
More good info can be found about urban composting from YouGrowGirl.com