Thursday, April 16, 2009

food waste scraps-preferred disposal method?

This is in response to a question I got through Twitter. I was asked: "Since I haven't progressed to composting yet, what's better for fruit peels and the like: garbage disposal or trash?"

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'll just post a link to this answer to that very question. (Alex, if you want help tracking down the methane question, let me know. I'd be curious to know the answer for Portland. I'm currently tracking down the answer for Vancouver.)

However, I will also note that there's some other options. Just about everyone can compost. Composting with worms can be a little tricky, but can be done inside and with very little space. Composting outside on a balcony is also an option. Finally, there is the bokashi method of composting. Urban Farm School gives workshops on this and I'm planning on attending one in the future. I don't know a lot about it yet, but in the case of an apartment dweller, even if you don't have plants that would love the nutrients, you could easily give it away on craigslist. If you don't have many food scraps (which I'm assuming Alex doesn't) or if you're a lazy composter like me, you can freeze the scraps in a container until you're ready to compost them. There also might be a local community garden somewhere close that would take your food scraps (especially frozen-not already decomposing) and compost them. Ideally, food scraps will get composted. This is by far the best solution for them.

Thanks for the question, Alex! Keep 'em comin!


  1. i have been really energized about getting some worms, but robby is a little freaked out by the idea. we make too much waste...and i just want to feed another creature with it. you would think his veggie head could be wrapped around that. :)

  2. Noa,

    They are somewhat difficult to maintain, but not more so than say, a cat. And, you feed them with garbage! If you guys have houseplants (which I'm assuming you do by the looks of the studio) they will love the finished product. It's a very nifty closed loop. Now, having said all that, I will confess we don't have worms in our house. I'm a lazy composter-meaning I freeze everything until I'm out of space for freezing stuff, then I dump it all into a wire cage in our backyard. I hardly ever turn it (if you turn your compost, it will decompose faster.) I basically just have a compost bin so that I don't have to throw food scraps in the garbage. Mind you, I have put a lot of plants in the ground (ornamentals and herbs) in the last two years and at some point, I will "harvest" my finished compost and use it.


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