I consider myself to be a pretty green minded person. The thought that up to 40 percent of all food in the United States goes wasted bothers me, not just because so many people are hungry but because of the environmental impact that the growing, transportation and processing of all that food involves. I know that composting is a good solution for decreasing the size of my own eco footprint and doing something about my own food waste, but I've never thought of doing it in the past.
Cause the idea grosses me out. Big time. The closest thing I have to a super hero power is a remarkable gag reflex. Just the thought of a big mess of leftovers rotting in a bucket under my sink waiting to go outside makes me queasy. That's why when I was asked to kitchen test the CompoKeeper Food Scrap Collector I was a little hesitant but I did my best to suppress my gag reflex and committed to using the compost trashcan for 1 week. Here's what happened:
The CompoKeeper is a waste bin designed specifically for collecting compostable food scraps. The bin has a pedal powered lid and these bag sealing clasps that are meant to create a tight seal to keep smells contained. In addition, the recycling bin for food is ventilated and has an activated carbon filter to further reduce smells. The bags that fit inside of it are compostable, so the idea is that you can collect your food scraps until it's full, tie up the bag and then drop it off, put it by the curb or add it to the garden for composting.
I was pleased to find that the CompoKeeper comes pretty much assembled and ready for use.
All you have to do is add the bag and put in the carbon filter, both of which were easy tasks. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the bin. It's better than almost any trash can I've ever owned. I also liked that it came with a list of what you can and can't put inside of the CompoKeeper. It even comes with a handy infographic that lets you find out what kind of composter you are).
I got my CompoKeeper Food Scrap Collector all set up and in place in the kitchen in under 5 minutes. It was time to start filling it with food scraps!
The Week of Compost Keeping
When cleaning up food all week long, I checked the list that came with my CompoKeeper and added suitable food scraps to the bin. The only gross part about the whole experience was dealing with the food on my plate! The CompoKeeper doesn't smell at all, and the way it's designed, I couldn't even really see all the mess inside. I made it through the whole week completely gag free, and when the bag was full, I was able to lift it out and tie it without any problem at all.
The Strength Test
Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see how strong the CompoKeeper bags were. When I emptied out my food scrap bag, I put a fresh bag in and dumped some of my other trash inside.
I was pretty impressed with what I saw. I did get a little hole in one corner from a product package, as you can see in the photo, but since these bags are designed for boxes and similar items, I don't have any doubt that they can hold a heavy load of food scraps without breaking.
Even with my super human gag reflex, I liked using the CompoKeeper and plan to keep doing so. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use. It really does control the smell. In fact, I'm thinking about getting a second one for my smelliest non-compostable trash--kitty litter. The only drawback I found was that the bags are a little thin, but if you use it for food scraps, I don't see this being a problem. If you want to learn more about the CompoKeeper or purchase one for your own kitchen, you can check CompoKeeper here at Paperless Kitchen.