Once you’ve solved your buying, storing, and creative use issues with food waste, you still have to deal with…kitchen scraps aka food waste. There are several ways to dispose of your kitchen scraps in a climate-friendly manner and keep it out of the landfill where it generates methane gas. You can use the services provided by waste disposal companies/departments in your area to turn your organics into compost, and/or you can turn the food scraps into usable compost for your garden at home.

The City of Olympia and Waste Connections, Inc. provide yard waste containers for food scraps, lawn cuttings, other yard waste, soiled kitchen paper towels and napkins, and small pieces of unpainted lumber throughout Thurston County. They can even take meat, bone, and shellfish scraps. Your organics are taken to the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center where they are put through a grinder. Then they are taken to the Silver Springs Organics composting facility in the south county.

Vermicompost is the product of earthworm digestion and aerobic decomposition using the activities of micro-and macroorganisms. Vermicomposting, or worm composting, produces a rich organic soil amendment containing a diversity of plant nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. Worm bins are easy to make and “worm farming” can be educational and rewarding. We’ve had worm bins at OUUC in the past built children in the Religious Education program. If you’d like to learn how to make a “wormyculture” bin, check out Appendix C of this Thurston County booklet.

Compost bins require some yard space and a little more thought about balancing your sources of carbon and nitrogen, the “brown and greens”. The WSU Extension Service has an excellent pamphlet on the basics. You can also learn all you need to know about composting by attending the Master Recycler Composter Program put on by the Extension Service.

Check it out and download our October spreadsheet to participate in the October Challenge!

It is easy to participate:
Track your environmental actions in the tracking sheet located here. (If you need a refresher on how to fill it out, you can find instructions here.)

Because of poor participation, sadly, this is the last tracking sheet you’ll see and the last opportunity to win a prize. Ah well! We’ll continue to have a monthly topic with tips on how to help reduce climate chaos.