Euh, Stinky: Troubleshooting Compost Problems

Jordan is master of compost. He is the one who delivers our food scraps to the compost bin and is supposed to make sure all is well in compost heaven. Well, Houston, we have a problem.

The most dreaded of compost problems for me is stinky compost. And we definitely have stinky compost. I remember reading about troubleshooting compost problems and I decided I should make like Nancy Drew and investigate this mystery. So I asked myself these questions to determine the solution to the stinky problem:

Q: Do you have stinky compost?
A: Yes. Stinkiness confirmed.

Q: What have you been putting in your compost bin?
A: Only food scraps. And no oils, I swear!

Q: Have you been following the ratio from your compost recipe of 3:1 browns (carbon-rich) to greens (nitrogen-rich)?
A: No! This must be part of the problem. Master composter, Jordan has been adding our food scraps to the bin every week but hasn’t been adding the leaves and paper scraps. Eh.

Q: How wet is the mix, like a wrung out sponge?
A: Wetter than a rung out sponge, it’s been raining. At least the holes on the side of the bin are working.

So it seems like our problems are not enough dry browns and too much water and perhaps not enough air. I think it might be time to stop adding greens to the pile and let it cook a while. But what do we do with our kitchen scraps in the meantime? Start another bin? I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince Jordan to bite holes in another trash can…

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