Compost piles are difficult, if not impossible, to turn in the winter. Not only that, but the long wait between warm seasons might lead to anaerobic rot in the frozen pile once thawed, and ruin the pile completely.
The average compost pile is around three feet by three feet - do you have the yard space to give up six feet cubed to a pile of food and paper scraps? Many city-dwellers don’t!
Depending on the method, compost piles can take anywhere between one month (if the pile is very small, has plenty of “browns” and is turned regularly) to over a year to turn into soil.
Let’s be real: food that is breaking down in the open air has a smell.
Humans don’t love it - but many animals and bugs just adore it. Fruit flies, house flies, possums, raccoons, rats, seagulls, crows, ravens, bears and neighbourhood pets all love a bit of stinky garbage to snack on.
Compost piles require turning regularly. This means that they need you to put in a bit of elbow grease, grab a pitchfork and start slinging dirt!
Or, if you’re more into “trench composting” - digging a hole, tossing in your food scraps, and letting nature do her work - this involves a good amount of digging.
Gardening can be a great workout, but if you have a bad back or something equally debilitating - or you’d just rather stay inside and not get your sweat on (no judgment) - than maybe traditional composting isn’t for you.
- Limited In What You Can Add
For compost piles, not all food waste is created equal. Not only do you have to pay attention to the nitrogen and carbon ratio (“greens” to “browns”), but you have to make absolutely sure that your pile does not have meat, dairy or processed foods.
If you do have these items, you will most likely run the risk of attracted critters, or of inviting pathogens and disease into your compost.