For years I have kept a compost pile. And it has never been much to look at. In preparation for the wedding I dismantled it, spread the decomposing kitchen waste out and covered it with leaves. There was no smell or flies. Now that the big event is over, I am reluctant to set it up again. Instead I have been burying the kitchen waste in the back garden and covering it with leaves (sometimes called “pit composting.”)
Occasionally I would remove the plastic bin and turn the compost, and spread some of it in garden beds and top-dress lawn areas.
An internet review of the practice of burying kitchen waste reveals that there can be problems with rats and anaerobic rotting.
(As a quick aside, for those new to composting, whether you use a bin or not, you should compost only vegetable waste, no meat or dairy, egg shells are okay. When I have the energy I cut up melon rinds, though even large pieces will eventually decompose. Mix wet, dense kitchen waste with dry leaves to keep the pile from getting anaerobic – rotting without oxygen. Check with your Extension for complete composting instructions.)
Returning again to pit composting, my piles aren’t big and I mix them with soil and leaves. There is a lot of aerobic decomposition in this bed and it does not smell. Regarding the problem with rats and mice, my yard has two very large avocado trees that have been dropping fruit for months, of which we can only eat a portion. The squirrels are well fed, and I can only assume that rats, mice and other small mammals living in and around our yard have shiny coats too. It seems to me that this is the major food source for mammals rather than my cucumber peels. And indeed, nothing has been digging in this garden bed – yet. Furthermore, we have found that removing all of the ivy – ideal rat condos – in our yard and closing all holes into the house did the most to address the issue of rats and mice.
New process of burying small amounts of kitchen waste throughout the yard instead of collecting it in one place.