Composicle: the ultimate way to compost

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

freezer, door open, beam of light

I was mobbed by a group of onlookers with a bunch of questions at my condo today. My crime?....having discovered the most amazing way to compost. (note to reader, I didn't actually discover it but I fancy myself a pioneer)

Let me start this post by saying that I understand that composting is hard. It's not like recycling. Recycling means you put one thing into a container and voila, nice and easy. There are no odours, there are no bugs, and you can recycle almost everywhere. No so for composting, and in my case composting is doubly difficult because condos in Ottawa don't have a standard composting system.

These creates three possible solutions. The first is to become a composting ninja. Wake up super early and find a house somewhere in your neighbourhood that composts. Quietly, without waking anybody up or drawing too much attention to yourself, open up their compost bin and depose the goods. Full disclosure, I have been caught doing this once before and I can tell you that people don't like you composting in their bins (even if we all pay the same taxes and the compost all goes to the same place).

The second solution is to compost it yourself. There are many many composting systems out there than get the job done. You could create a backyard composter, you could do some vermi composting, you could buy a rolling composter, hell you could burn the stuff and use the ashes for fertilizer. But of course there are space constraints and well you know.... if you don't have a fire pit.

The third solution is to transport your compost to somewhere that offers free public composting, this is my preferred option. Of course this option still leaves you with the same issues of odour and insects but I have a solution for that. COMPOSICLES!!!!!

Take your compost and shove it in the freezer. That's it, done and done. You could put it in the fridge if you would like but the freezer has an added environmental benefit (it actually helps use less energy if your freezer - not fridge - is nice and full). Then you need only transport your frozen content to its final destination. The beauty of it being frozen is that even while transporting the compost you don't have to worry about odours or moisture.

By the way, you can use a plastic container or a pail to store the compost in your freezer but I recommend placing it in a brown bag. The brown bag is nice because you can compost the entire bag afterwards without having to scrape out frozen or soggy bits of compost. I do my composting on campus so this is super convenient for me.

So I'll be the first to admit that the title of this post is a little misleading. There is no ultimate way to compost, just an assortment of ways that present fewer challenges. In the end the best way to compost is what works for you.

~jon - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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