Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ode to My Kitchen Collector Bucket

There are times of the year that I find every excuse to go outside- “Oh look, I better throw this apple core in the compost bin…” And then there is the cold, gray Cincinnati winter. When my delicate (ok, wimpish) side would rather hibernate in my warm house with a plate of cookies and fuzzy slippers. There is one glorious piece of kitchen equipment that proves my favorite this time of year (even above my cookie pan), my modest but mighty kitchen collector bucket.

It sits, seemingly innocuous, between my recycling bin and trash can waiting patiently for my scraps. While nothing fancy, just a green plastic pail, that baby really pulls its weight in the kitchen. I sometimes go a week without having to empty the bucket (more if my sweet hubby takes it out :)

A designated kitchen container for compost is a must-have for people who want to compost all winter. Especially for us unfortunates who leave for work in the dark and come home to the dark. Some containers have very fancy designs with stainless steel bodies and carbon filters in the lids. Others (like mine) are less stylish but work just as well.

The most important features to look for are: 1) a material that won’t leak or rot, 2) a large enough capacity for 3 to 4 days worth of scraps, 3) a lid if you have curious pets, and 4) a handle. Check out Park + Vine  or Greener Stock to browse a few different options.

I know quite a few people who just use an old margarine tub or kitty litter bucket. This is a great eco-conscious option if it works for you. Bucket technology has not advanced too much in the last few hundred years. They all carry your stuff from point a to point b.

And while I fill my bucket to overflowing, you never want to leave compostables sitting in your kitchen too long. They will start to compost in the bucket. And it smells. And grows colorful fuzz. And is just gross. So work up your courage, put on your snow boots, and bring your scraps to the compost bin. You’ll be happy you did when spring rolls around and your compost bin is full of wonderful scraps ready to break down. For more winter composting tips, read this post.


  1. I use the large folgers coffee plastic cans. seals perfect. Also adding to outside frozen Cincinnati is easier if you dig several holes in the autumn ready to fill with your kitchen scraps. I'm alternating between feeding indoor/basement worm bins and filling outdoor holes -seems to be working.

  2. That's a good idea, JC. I'm sure the "Aroma Seal" helps.

  3. Hi there! I've got the worm bin and outdoor compost too. Had to move the worms into the basement as it was SO cold the bin was frosty. You mentioned Park + Vine, I love the store but you can get the exact same stainless steel 1 gal bucket cheaper (by about $10) at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

  4. Yeah, definitely don't let those little guys get frosty! Good call bringing them in.


    I think that I shall never see
    A blender that works so well for me!
    It takes my peels and other stuff
    And grinds it into a lovely mush!

    O to hear my wormy friends shout with glee:
    “Look what Gifford made for me!”
    Then I watch them wiggle and grind
    My veggie scraps into a meal so fine!

    But that’s not all from scraps I gain.
    And I don’t mean to sound so vain!
    My roses also bloom so fair
    Along with the veggies I plant out there!

    And if you doubt this song I sing,
    Let me tell you what else I see in Sprng.
    I see the bees who visit each bloom
    And store the nectar in their bee hive room!

    Then on a summer day in early morn
    Many beautiful dreams are born
    As I sit on my patio within my garden, If I sound like I brag, please
    give me your pardon!
    Forgive me, too, if I may boast
    Of this beautiful thing called compost!

    Well, there I’ve said it
    And now I must stop
    I think I just heard
    A few buttons pop!