Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Keep your kitchen scraps in the freezer: Prevent fruit flies & odors

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I was lamenting fruit flies on Twitter several years ago, and Teacher Tom stepped in to save me.

Seattle had decreed that all food and yard waste needed to go in the compost bin rather than the garbage. This was a change I could get behind as an eco-friendly ideal.

But the small kitchen waste bin the city handed out for collecting our kitchen scraps had two distinct problems: The smell of rotting food seeped out into our kitchen, and fruit flies gathered to feast. It didn't seem to matter how often we emptied the little container, and we even bought a fancier one with a locking lid and filter, with no accompanying improvement.

Teacher Tom replied to me on Twitter and said: Put it in the freezer.

Ok, honestly, that's how long this post needed to be. I apologize for enjoying drawing out a story.

Our freezer has two bins on a top pullout rack. We designated one as the compost bin, and everyone in the family knows food and houseplant waste goes therein.

When it's full, as in the picture, out it goes into our building's communal yard waste bin. Which always stinks and has big black flies buzzing inside it. Glad that's not in my house anymore!

So, if you're bugged by bugs and stench, do as Teacher Tom taught me to do, and keep your kitchen scraps in the freezer. If you don't have room, the fridge is a close second, but the freezer is surefire (ha!) at keeping the decay at bay.

You don't have to have a special bin -- just pick whatever will fit and is easy to toss scraps into. Our community's yard waste bins don't require pre-bagging (they're already lined with biodegradable bags), but you could line your freezer container with a compostable bag, or have it just BE a bag (paper bags work well for this), if you need to.

Let me know if you try this idea and how you like it! It makes it so much easier and more convenient to compost.


Maddy said...


Nice to see a post after a long break. Putting compost in the freezer is a brilliant idea. It's the obvious things we don't always think of. Anyhow for those times when you can't put everything in the cold, those diy fruit fly traps with the apple cider vinegar and the drop of detergent work great!! (There are too many links out there to pick just one, big holes in the plastic wrap worked best for us.)
Best wishes,

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