Trench composting at home: an infographic

Infographic contributed by Megan Wilson

Do you have a garden? Or even property where you can bury food scraps? Then you can compost.

Composting your own food scraps keeps them out of the landfill and guarantees that they will enrich soil.

You’ve heard of compost piles and compost bins, but one of the easiest ways to improve your garden and reduce the amount of trash you generate is the less-known and under-used method of trench composting.

Trench composting differs from traditional composting; with the trench version you bury food waste directly into holes in the ground. You leave behind odors and the risk of pets and pests digging through your food waste.

Simply dig your trench a little at a time between your rows of plants. Leave a walking path, too. The next year, plant over the old path and work on a new trench were the old plants used to be. Leave where the plants used to be for your new path.

Since you rotate placement of the trench, you also help to improve the organic structure of the soil.

For any kind of composting at home, you need a way to collect scraps—something you can use to carry them out to the garden and add them to your trench or other composting method at your convenience.

Useful products

Here’s what I use. It sits on the countertop. It has a filter, so it doesn’t smell up the kitchen. When I empty it, I wash it out with some borax to take care of mold, then it’s ready for more scraps.

If you want something prettier, you can get this stainless steel one:

Or, if you have space under the counter, you can get this one:

 Use this infographic from to get started putting your food waste to better use than putting it in a landfill where it won’t biodegrade, It shows different types of trench composting to help you adapt to your type of garden structure. And it also shows some dos and don’ts for what you can trench compost.

Trench composting infographic

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