Top tips for reusing food waste from your kitchen

Top tips for reusing food waste from your kitchen
Leftovers, expired bread, and vegetable and fruit peels. The amount of waste produced by the average kitchen, which is normally thrown away, can be alarming, especially when one considers that all this waste can still be useful. One of the best ways to reuse food waste from your kitchen is to compost food scraps.

Before attempting to compost food scraps, make sure you are aware of exactly what types of waste are appropriate for composting. Foods that you can use for food composting include all vegetable and fruit wastes, such as potato peels or apple cores. Expired bread or other old bakery products, including pasta, cookies or even pizza bases can also be composted. Coffee grounds, tea bags, old spices, or eggshells are also fine for composting. 

Foods that can not be composted includes all meat and fish wastes. Dairy products, such as milk, cheeses, butter or cream, and grease or oils of any kind, are also not suited to home composting.

To make compost from food scraps, store your scraps in a kitchen compost pail with a secure lid to ensure you do not attract pests and to control odour. Empty this container as often as it fills into your outdoor compost bin, which is usually a large plastic or wood container. To control any odour, cover the waste as you add it day by day with a small amount of soil, which is an effective means of trapping the odour inside the compost bin.

Keep the compost in your compost bin covered to prevent it from being overwatered by rain, as the compost should be moist, but not completely soggy. Remember to turn your compost every now and again to aerate the compost and aid the decomposition process. 

Your compost can take anything from a year to only a few months to be ready, depending on what the waste is composed of. You will know your compost is ready for use when it looks and smells like rich, crumbly soil with a strong earthy smell. Compost can then be used to fertilise your garden.