The 100% Free Solution to Your Stinky, Buggy Compost Bin

published Nov 14, 2022
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woman putting apple peels in compost bin
Credit: Anchiy/Getty Images

Composting can be a smelly, fruit fly-generating endeavor. I know this because I finally started composting about a year ago. The decision was prompted by a move to a new apartment, which is conveniently located near a weekly farmers market with a compost collection stand. Every Saturday, I have a convenient place to dispose of whatever food scraps I’ve accumulated since the previous weekend.

Initially, I was hoping the weekly dump would be enough to avoid a stinky compost pail (I have this one and love it, but we also recommend this one). Alas, that was not the reality. Once the bugs got so bad I was scraping dead fruit flies out of the lid weeks later. Especially during the summer months, I found I needed to empty the compost bin at least twice a week, if not more, if I wanted to prevent pest guests and foul odors.

My 100% free solution? I freeze my compost.

Credit: Charles Wells

I still have a countertop compost bin (as I mentioned above), but when it starts to get full/stinky/buggy/gross, I tie off the biodegradable liner and put it in the freezer. Then I rinse out the bin with soap and water, dry it completely, put a new liner in, and voila! I’m back in composting business — minus any rotting food smells, fruit flies, or other pests.

The only downside to storing your compost in the freezer, as far as I can tell, is that you lose precious freezer space. On weeks where I generate two to three bags on compost, things start to feel a bit cramped. But I’ll gladly take a tight squeeze over a gross compost bin any day.

Your turn: How do you deal with your stinky, buggy compost?