Step 1: Choose Your Bin
First decide how much organic waste you have, how much effort you are willing to put into maintaining the bin, how quickly you want a finished product and whether you want to build or buy a bin.
- If you choose to build your own, see our compost bin plans.
- If you prefer to buy a bin, visit your local hardware or gardening store.
- Is your municipality offering bins at a reduced rate through MMSB’s Backyard Compost Bin Distribution Program?
Step 2: Choose a Location
You can conveniently store kitchen waste under your sink in a small, covered container. Purchase a compost container at your local hardware store or reuse an empty salt beef bucket or ice cream container.
The amount of organics you add to your container will determine how often it needs to be emptied. Usually once or twice a week is sufficient.
Adding the proper materials and emptying your indoor container regularly will eliminate odors.
Rinse your indoor container each time it’s emptied or line it with newspapers to avoid rinsing. The newspaper lining can be thrown in the compost bin with the rest of your organic waste.
Place your compost bin in a sunny area where it will absorb and retain as much heat as possible. Don’t forget to choose a location that is both convenient and accessible all year round and has good drainage. This will be especially important in the spring when your compost pile produces excess moisture.
To promote good drainage, place small sticks and branches at the bottom of your bin.
Step 3: Add Organic Waste
- Begin with a layer of browns (dried grass clippings and leaves, sawdust and newspaper).
- Add a layer of greens (vegetable and fruit peels and scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds and filters).
- Finish by covering with a layer of browns.
Ensure you add a balanced amount of brown and green material to the pile and be sure to alternate layers of browns and greens – always finish with a layer of browns on top.