What are Kitchen Wastes and its types?
Kitchen wastes or organic wastes are the most commonly found in every home daily. There are two types of organic wastes (Cooked wastes and the peels of vegetables and fruits). These wastes can be easily converted into compost which is very nutritious for the plants and vegetables we grow at home. This compost is the most natural and help plants grow very fast without any chemicals. You cannot use only the compost for your garden, instead you have to have it mixed with the topsoil. Topsoil helps in holding the much needed moisture and retain its structure than only the compost. Organic compost when mixed with topsoil, improves the quality of topsoil, and hence strengthening the plants by supplying essential nutritional elements, and topsoil holding the required moisture for your plant.
What organic wastes can be converted to compost?
As we find various wastes from kitchen, all wastes cannot be composted. It’s better to understand various kitchen items that are compostable and non-compostable. The list of organic waste that can be composted is too long. Let’s try to understand, which cannot be composted.
Many food items are non-compostable. Most common non-compostable food items are:
- Dairy products: Dairy products are more attractive to pests. Hence doesn’t help in composting.
- Meat and fish: Meat and fishes can be composted but it becomes very long process and if not taken proper care, it starts attracting unwanted pests, hence composting becomes difficult.
- Diseased plants: the diseased plants when composted, are not healthy for plants, as the risk of airborne fungal disease for plants increases.
- Oily products: when in large quantity oily products slows down the process of composting, hence not much ideal for composting.
- Cooked and uncooked rice: cooked or uncooked, in both the cases rice is not best to compost. Cooked rice lead to growth of unwanted bacteria whereas the uncooked rice attracts rodents.
- Potato peels: Potato peels can be composted by burying them deep into ground, turning over the heap regularly, or else potato peels usually start developing fungus as they are the potential source of fungus.
- Coal and charcoal ash: the chemical residue from the additives in charcoal are harmful for the plants hence not suitable for composting.
Compostable food-items and their nutritional values:
- Vegetable and fruit peels: almost all vegetables and fruit peels are very much nutritional for plants when composted. The most commonly available fruit like banana has got tremendous nutrients in it such as calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphate, sodium, which helps both flowering and fruit plants to grow quickly. Also onion is the most commonly and largely used vegetable among all. When onion peels are composted , it as many nutrients like Sulphur, Potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, vitamins, iodine, pectins, saponins, flavonoids and so on. Onion peels have anti- microbial and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants influences plants growth. Along with these commonly and largely used banana and onion peel, you can other vegetable and fruit wastes from your kitchen as every fruit and vegetable contribute their nutritional values into compost.
- Egg shells: eggshells has an abundance of calcium which helps in moderating soil acidity while providing nutrients to the plants.
- Coffee and tea wastes: coffee and tea wastes are rich in nitrogen which helps in composting. Also, you cannot use coffee directly as it is acidic, which prevents the heap heating up and decomposing whereas the coffee ground is not acidic. Hence if you are planning to use tea and coffee for composting, avoid using coffee directly.
How to compost kitchen waste:
Kitchen wastes can be composted manually which is widely followed methodology. Also the technology has grown up so fast, that there are machineries to compost your kitchen waste very quickly.
How to compost kitchen waste manually:
- Separate and collect all edible kitchen wastes into a container.
- Aerate the container by making at least 4 to 5 holes to the container.
- Collect all your garden wastes too (dried leaves, straw and strawdust etc.)
- Fill the bottom of your container with soil.
- Add you food waste and garden wastes one over the other alternatively.
- Cover the container with a lid.
- Once in a while turn over the mixture to provide aeration.
Time period required for compost getting ready with a manual method:
The time required for the compost getting ready depends on the size of the compost heap. Ideally for small amount of compost pile, 2 to 3 months are required, and if it large in quantity, the time period required is almost 2 years.
Modern and technology based method for composting:
Well, if you don’t want to go through a simple yet lengthy process of composting, here is a modern methodology which is simpler, cost efficient, and quicker. It is none other than BOKASHI BIN.
Bokashi bin or Bokashi bucket is modern and revolutionary technology which uses a micro-organism called bokashi. The bokashi enables air tight composting without any odour. It is as simple as manual process.
- Add on your food wastes into a bin and add a layer of bokashi above it.
- The bin is facilitated with a lid and a press button at the bottom. Press the button which helps in aerating and the waste liquid from the bin comes out.
- Keep on adding your food waste and bokashi layer by layer alternatively.
- Once the bucket is full add some more bokashi and keep it in a shade for atleast 10 to 14 days.
- Keep on aerating and removing bokashi juice(waste liquid).
- After at least 14 days, transfer the fermented waste to the soil by digging a hole of 20-25cm deep.
- This bokashi compost enriches your soil with microbes providing nourishing food for plants. Doesn’t it look cool!
Bokashi bin is very economic and available everywhere.