A Guide to Kitchen Scrap Composting: Tips & Methods

kitchen waste material on a counter

Food scraps and yard waste accounts for more than 30 percent of what we send to landfills each year. Instead of throwing out your kitchen waste, you can compost food scraps and use the pre-compost to feed your plants. What is compost? Well, it's the natural decomposition process of breaking down your organic waste. It's a great way to cut back on your food waste and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. You can use your finished compost as a soil amendment to give your plants the boost they need to thrive. Looking for something specific? Use our table of contents to jump ahead to the section you find most useful.

Not sure what to compost? Let's go over what food scraps you can compost in your kitchen and which ones you should avoid.

What kitchen scraps can be composted?

woman putting food waste into a compost bin

Not all food scraps are created equal. There are certain organic materials that just cannot go into your compost pile. Kitchen waste like coffee grounds and eggshells add essential nutrients to your compost and are great additions to your compost pile.

Items like meat and dairy products should be avoided because they take a long time to break down and can attract rodents and other pests to your compost pile. Some highly acidic food scraps like tomatoes and citrus peels can be added but should be done so sparingly.

Here's a quick list of kitchen waste you can add to your compost pile without worry. If you're looking for a more comprehensive list of what to compost, we have a list of over 100 compostable and non-compostable household items on our blog.

Kitchen scraps to compost

Kitchen scraps you shouldn’t compost

  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Stale bread
  • Corn husks
  • Juicer pulp
  • Expired spices
  • Nutshells
  • Cooked rice/pasta
  • Meat products
  • Seafood products
  • Bones
  • Dairy products
  • Oily foods or grease
  • Citrus peels
  • Baked goods
  • Cooked food waste
  • Black walnut products
  • Onion and garlic scraps



How to compost kitchen scraps: 5 best ways to compost

How you go about composting kitchen waste depends on how much space you have and how much time you want to devote to composting. There are a number of different ways to compost food scraps like backyard composting, indoor composting, or vermicomposting. Not sure which one is best for you? We've gathered 5 of the best ways to compost to get you started.

1. Backyard composting

person dumping food waste into compost tumbler

Outdoor composting is a great way to start composting kitchen waste, but you need to have the space to do it. Ideally, your compost pile should be 3 feet by 3 feet. You can also use an outdoor compost bin or a compost tumbler if you don't want to make a pile.

Start by clearing a space in your chosen location. Make sure it is a nice shady spot with good drainage for your compost bin or pile. You can dump all sorts of composting materials onto your pile like your food waste (coffee grounds, banana peels, etc) and yard waste like grass clippings and dry leaves. Just make sure to layer your brown materials with your green materials. Give your pile a turn every few days to ensure it is getting proper oxygen. It can take 6 months to a year to have finished compost to use in your garden beds.

Pro tip: Make sure you are using a ratio of about 3-4 parts brown materials for every 1 part green materials. This ensures you have the right balance of carbon and nitrogen in your compost.

2. Indoor compost bin

person putting food waste into a indoor compost bin

An indoor compost bin is a great option if you don't have the outdoor space for a traditional compost pile. There are a variety of different indoor compost bins out there so you should consider one that meets your budget and needs. Check out our list of the best indoor compost bins to find the right one for you.

Indoor composting is similar to outdoor but on a much smaller scale. You still need to balance your green and brown materials and give it a turn every so often.

Pro tip: If you create a lot of waste, you can still use indoor composting, but you should regularly empty it into a larger outdoor compost bin. If you don't have the room for one yourself, check to see if your area has a community garden that could use compost.



3. Electric composter

food waste in front of a lomi composter

Unfortunately both indoor and outdoor composting can come with a bit of an odor. If you still want to compost indoors, an electric composter like Lomi can take care of your food scraps without the stink of traditional compost bins.

Lomi, and other electric composters, quickly break down your food scraps and other organic materials and turn them into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants.

Pro tip: You can compost more than just your food scraps in Lomi. Check out our list of what you can and can't compost with Lomi.


Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


4. Vermicomposting

person holding worm compost in hands

Vermicomposting, also known as worm composting, is the composting process of using worms and soil to break down your organic materials. You are left with worm castings and decomposed organic material that is a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants.

You can make your own DIY worm bin or you can buy one online. This method is not the most beginner-friendly option, but it can be a fun way to indoor compost.

Pro tip: Use something like wood chips in your compost bin for bedding. This makes a great long-term food source for your worms.

5. Trench composting

person digging a hole with food waste on the ground

Trench composting is often considered the easiest, or the laziest to some, method of composting food scraps. As the name suggests, you simply dig a hole or trench in the ground near your garden and bury your food scraps. That's all there is to it!

While this method does require some physical labor, there is no maintenance to worry about. You just bury your food scraps and you're done.

Pro tip: Your trench or hole should be about 12-18" deep and covered in about 6-8" of soil. You should also make sure to dig your trench at least 6" away from your plants.



Try Lomi - the best way to compost kitchen scraps

lomi composter surrounded by food waste

While there are many different ways to compost your kitchen waste, Lomi is the easiest and fastest method you could choose. Nobody wants to add composting to their to-do list and with Lomi, you don't have to.

Lomi is so easy to use. Simply fill the compost bin with your vegetable and fruit waste, egg shells, coffee grounds and other organic matter, toss in a Lomi pod to add some extra nutrients, choose your cycle, and press the button. In just a few short hours, you will have nutrient-rich fertilizer for your houseplants or your garden beds.

Not sure Lomi is the best option for kitchen composting? Here are some reasons why we think Lomi is the best for composting kitchen scraps:

  • The quickest way to compost kitchen scraps
  • 100% odor free
  • No maintenance required
  • Space-saving
  • Saves you time and energy
  • Eco-friendly

Reducing your food waste is not only great for the environment, but it will make your plants happy and healthy. There are so many ways to compost out there, but Lomi is by far the easiest and most convenient. Still not sold on Lomi? Check out what users are saying about this fast and easy way to turn your food waste into nutrient-rich dirt for your plants. Now you have all the information you need to keep your organic waste out of landfills, grow healthier plants, and reduce your methane emissions. Happy gardening!

Written by: Sarah Kendal