Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My indoor compost solution

Kym Pokorny of the Oregonian recently blogged about alternatives to the boring plastic compost pail given to each single family home a couple of months ago. The plastic pail is part of the new "Portland Composts" waste reduction program and is intended to be filled with vegetable scraps and daily food waste, then emptied into the large green yard debris can for weekly pickup.   Kym did a good job of highlighting some nicer options, but many of them cost a good bit and don't fit the look of my retro kitchen.

Portland readers are familiar with this issue. For decades our household used a half-gallon Nancy's yoghurt container for our compost, but it really wasn't much to look at and lived under the sink when we weren't using it. Probably no one I know really wants this just-short-of-ugly plastic thing sitting on their counter top waiting for carrot peelings and tea bags. And if you're anything like me, your counter top isn't exactly overflowing with extra space, especially around the sink area. Do we have to hide the new pail under the sink forever?

The Mulch Man came up with a perfect solution:

We were given this vintage ice bucket/food keeper as a housewarming gift when we moved into our 1956 ranch. Why not re-purpose it for compost?

It's a little smaller than the plastic pail, but it easily holds plenty of food waste. With just us two most of the time, it doesn't need emptying often (unless we cook with garlic!)

And it looks great beside the sink. With its Bakelite handles and its cute embossed penguins it fits right in with the Hudee ring sink surround, the laminate backsplash and the 50s vibe of the kitchen.

Its contents can go either into the outdoor compost bin if it's just vegetable waste, or the green yard debris can if there's cooked food waste.

And it's so much more fun to look at than beige plastic!


  1. Hey I've got one of those! Great idea!

    Except I have no counter space so I am using that ugly plastic pail and hiding it under the sink...I do love the every week pick up of the yard waste, can't complain about that.

  2. Definitely cuter than the plastic one :-)

  3. Oh, that's so cool. Reminds me of Mom & Dad's old percolator coffee maker.

    We make do with a mustard yellow bucket that once held Quik-crete kept out on the patio--even uglier than beige plastic.

  4. Kudos to you for finding a stylish solution instead of just carping about the city's version. I love the retro look of your kitchen.

  5. dg - Yeah, weekly yard debris is the best!

    Chris - that's so us: "stylish and functional" -NOT!

    Grace - chic, that's it!

    Scott - cuteness rules!

    Hoov - Okay, now I need a percolator...and we don't even drink coffee.

    ricki - usually I AM the one who just carps. (You'll note it was the Mulch Man's solution.)


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