Tips & Tricks for Summer Composting

Welcome to summer in Chicagoland!

Here are some tips and tricks for reducing odor and pests during the warm weather months.

We really do wash our buckets every time. In warmer weather, the clean buckets we deliver may not smell all that fresh. If you find the smell offensive, try tossing something fragrant, like flowers, citrus peels, herbs or coffee grounds into your empty bucket when it arrives.

One of our bi-weekly customers uses this technique to manage odors while adding organics to their bucket: They place the sealed bucket on the stove, then turn the exhaust fan on high. Working as quickly as possible, they remove the lid from the bucket, tosses the organics in, then snaps the lid back on.

Your countertop container and bucket will last longer and be less smelly if you line them with paper bags or non-glossy newspapers before you fill them.

Here’s a video of a cute little girl showing you how to make an origami countertop container liner out of discarded newspaper. We love that the very same countertop container that we sell is in this video.

Are Fruit Flies Baby House Flies?

That was a question I found when googling about the two. No, maggots are baby house flies. If a house fly lays eggs in your bucket, you may see maggots in your compost. If you keep your bucket sealed, then no maggots.

Fruit fly eggs usually come into your household in fruit. As the fruit ages, the eggs hatch and you can end up with fruit flies. Though they can be annoying, fruit flies are basically harmless. If you see fruit flies in your bucket, we suggest you put it outside immediately.

Fruit flies and maggots are not inherently bad. They’re just doing their thing, trying to survive, like the rest of us. However, if you see maggots in your bucket, you do not have to keep collecting in it. Clamp the lid on tightly, put it outside and begin collecting in plastic or compostable bag. If the maggots are on the outside of the bucket, put it in a large enough plastic bag that you can tie it shut. Reply to your reminder email to let customer service know what’s going on.

Adding a piece of paper or cardboard over the food scraps in your countertop container can also help to eliminate the problem.

I think we can all agree that fruit flies, maggots and houseflies are gross, but you know what’s even more gross?

Climate change.

Author Details
Zero Waste Consultant | Collective Resource, Inc.

Mary Beth strongly believes that, “It’s always better to be doing something rather than nothing.” If you’re thinking of composting at home, she can help you work out what your particular “something” can be.

She’s confident a solution can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs and ambitions. “Anyone who eats can be a CRI customer, whether you are an individual or a large organization. I want you to understand the advantages of composting, and I can show you how CRI can make it easy.” Mary Beth has successfully designed waste diversion strategies for individuals, schools, houses of worship and other communities. She’s received the governor’s Environmental Hero award for her work at her daughter’s school. Whether you’re starting with a backyard bin, a kitchen bucket, a worm farm, or large-scale commercial collection, Mary Beth can be your good-natured guide.