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Compost Pails--Some Musings

September 16, 2014

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There are many ways to get kitchen scraps to the compost bin and I’ve used a variety of containers over three decades of composting.

Some compost pails corralled the trimmings well enough but not the odor. Others were hard to clean or not air tight so fruit flies passed in an out of the vent holes where filters were supposed to rest. 

My most recent ceramic model has worked well enough and though it is heavy, the handle is convenient. I dropped the lid several times and my husband dutifully repaired it. It’s not very attractive on my kitchen counter.

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So now I’ve replaced it with a lighter, sleeker model that was less expensive than most compost pails seen in garden catalogs. It’s called a Bain Marie Pot–a stainless steel food service item.

I like the tight fitting lid which I can lift with one finger when my hands are full of scraps. It doesn’t retain odors, is easy to clean and can go in the dishwasher. We’ll see if it dents the first time I drop it.

After ordering this shiny stainless model I found a more substantial brushed stainless Bain Marie Pot on another website in many more sizes. Mine is 4.25 quarts and about 7.5 inches tall and 6.5 inches in diameter. They range from 1.25 to 12 quarts at this online supplier. A well-stocked food service equipment company can save you the shipping.

So what works for you? Really, a stainless bowl and an expendable but decorative plate would also do the trick. That’s probably what my grandmother would have used.

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