I use that pail to collect all my day-to-day kitchen scraps that are not animal based – that is, things that are not meat or dairy. I include things like:
• Breakfast: banana peel, coffee grounds, tea bags
• Lunch: scraps left over from the salad or whatever you were making
• Dinner: those scraps and ends from vegetables, all of the ends from broccoli stems, all the ends any onions chopped up or any vegetable, the brownish outer leaves, the wilted part of anything
I collect all that stuff in a big bowl as I cook and take it outside to the pail. Then, once a day, I empty that bucket into the next container, which is my large compost container. These come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. It can be a compost bin. I have a large bin that’s 50 gallons or more. But it could also be a compost drum that you turn with a handle, or even just a pile in your backyard.
Protecting your compost pile
If you do decide to start a compost pile in your backyard and you don't have a lid on your compost, you must cover it with dirt regularly. You can't have raw melon rinds out there and different scraps in plain view, uncovered, or you will attract lots of pests that you don't want, including cockroaches, raccoons, maybe even rats.
What you do want to invite into your compost are beneficial critters: earthworms, grub worms, friendly bacteria and fungi. They're going to break down the matter that you put out there in your compost pile or bin or drum.
And you do that by getting the right combination of nitrogen and carbon. Fortunately for me and everybody else, you don't need to know the exact ratio of nitrogen to carbon. The way to achieve that ratio without remembering the number is simply to have your compost be half green and half brown, and to keep it wet. Just put in layers, half green and half brown.
Page 1 of 2 -- Learn more about the "green and brown" composting technique on page 2.