Composting Made Easy

Posted June 26th, 2012 by Ellen in Green, Uncategorized

composting white bucket

Several years ago, I posted about our re-organizing our recycling area.  We do a pretty good job recycling darn near everything, because our town has single stream recycling, so it’s so easy to recycle all our plastic, paper, cans, etc.

We’ve attempted to compost our food in the past, but it’s been difficult.  I’ve never been quite sure about the proportions and I was also hesitant about putting food outside, unsecured, in our “close to urban” suburban neighborhood in Gorgeous Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Everyone says “it’s so easy” but we can’t seem to ever get our pile of leaves, grass, and food scraps to turn into anything other than, um, leaves, grass, and food scraps.

Our town is funding a pilot program with a service called Compost Cab in an effort to reduce the town’s contribution to the Prince George’s County landfill and by result, a reduction in the amount of energy required to process our trash.  Compost Cab picks up our family’s food scraps on a weekly basis (along with 49 other homes in our town) and takes them to a nearby not-for-profit urban farm where they compost the food scraps.  Our family’s food scraps go to EcoCity Farms, located inside the Beltway in Edmonston, Maryland.

green counter top compost binIn this way, composting our food scraps couldn’t be easier.  My husband, Mr. Quimby remembers his grandmother and his mother always composting their food scraps and using the scraps for their vegetable and flower gardens, so perhaps it’s in his blood.  He’s tken charge of making sure that hardly any of our food scraps wind up in the trash. Throughout the week, we put our food scraps in a biodegradable bag that fits inside a little bin that stays on our countertop.  When the bag is full, we tie off the top and put it in a 5 gallon bucket (with an airtight lid) that sits outside.  In the summer, when we are eating more produce than normal, there are weeks where I can barely lift our 5 gallon bucket to get it to the curb.

So, we’ll keep trying to compost ourselves with our grass and leaves and some food thrown in there occasionally, but for the most part, we are happy to turn our food scraps over to Compost Cab and let them do the work !


Compost Cab is a small, locally owned business and is currently engaged in a contest sponsored by Chase and Living Social to be awarded a $250K grant for small businesses.  I firmly believe in this small company and the good work they do.  Please go to , search for “compost” and then VOTE for Compost Cab !


I received no compensation for this post and the cost of my family’s participation is Compost Cab (and the costs of the other 49 participants) is covered by my town government.


When she’s not slicing watermelon rinds into little pieces, Ellen blogs semi-anonymously at Thrift Store Mama and lives 5 miles inside the Beltway in Gorgeous Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Photo credits are her own.



5 Responses to “Composting Made Easy”

  1. aimee @ smilingmama

    Voted! We just started composting this year because several organizations and our town sponsored a grant program to purchase discounted compost bins. I can’t believe how much compostable material we produce! Having curbside pick-up sounds pretty cool, too!!

  2. Janel

    This sounds like such a cool service! Hope it gets funded! Our backyard compost never seems to do what it’s supposed to do and we have one of those compost tumbler things.

  3. Christine

    I wish they would do this in my town. We know we should compost, but like so many other things, it’s been put on the long finger. (That’s not rude. Just means we procrastinate.)

  4. Jeremy Brosowsky

    Thanks so much for helping us build a healthier, more sustainable Washington, one bag of food scraps at a time!

    founder, Compost Cab

  5. Doug Alexander

    Hi Ellen, please send me an e-mail so I can forward you some information about the Cheverly Composting program that Aimee Olivo mentioned. It’s easy and much more cost effective.