By Peter Diaz , Service Learning & Immersion Coordinator and Religion Teacher, Mercy High School Burlingame 

For years, San Francisco has required its residences to compost food scraps. Each household was given a small green bin that fits underneath the kitchen sink. Everything from food scraps to eggs shells and even paper towels is collected. The city’s food scraps are turned into rich compost for the wineries and residences.  

Here’s what I have learned about keeping your kitchen compost clean and reducing potential odors.  

  1.  Line the compost bin with a newspaper, old paper bag that held your lunch or old deli meat wax paper. This helps empty the compost pail neatly without scraps sticking to it. 
  1. Keep the pail open. When you close the lid, it activates the decomposition by containing moisture.  
  1. Empty your pail every night into a bigger compost bin kept outside. 
  1. Keep the bigger compost bin lid outside open to slow the decomposition and reduce the smell.  
  1. If you happen to throw away food scraps that contain meat, which we are allowed to compost in San Francisco, add baking soda into the bin. It helps keep the odor under control. 

 Enjoy composting!