Composting on the Road…Help!

One of the best things about staying at the farm was their giant compost pile! Whenever I have access to a compost pile, I am absolutely giddy. You can imagine how many scraps and peels we produce while eating raw…it’s amazing. I try to keep it, so we can dump it strategically, but not everywhere we are staying has a compost pile. We’ve been very blessed that FOUR families have had compost piles this month…it’s been great being able to dump it.

However, this isn’t always the case. We are currently searching for a composting solution that is RV friendly! We found the NatureMill…and that is my DREAM composter! I saw one in person at Dwell Smart in Charleston, and oooooh how I loved it! I want one desperately…but alas, they are a little too spendy for our little budget. If you are looking for a composting solution for a small space, do check it out!

I have also looked into vermicomposting, but found that the temps need to stay in a range that probably isn’t do-able in the heat of the summer. I have even tried collecting it in bags and bringing it to coops, etc. who compost, but most will not take it unless it’s their own scraps.

We need your help! If you have solutions for us, we’d love to hear them. We need a way to store the scraps until we find a compost pile…or, preferably a way to compost it ourselves. C’mon all you green thinkin’ people…I know you have ideas!


  1. I don’t think you have room for this, but when I am pregnant, I can’t stand the smell of food scraps on the counter. If it’s rainy, cold, or busy, my husband doesn’t get around to hauling them out to the bin regularly enough, so I store then in old bags in the freezer. I reuse bread bags and stuff like that. I don’t know if you have much freezer space, but it works until you go somewhere who will take it.

    Comment by rachel — March 29, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

  2. This might be really gross, I don’t know, but what about a large cooler in your under-RV storage? It would hold a good amount, and you could open the lid and let it air and decompose when you are parked. Or you could use a rubbermaid container w/ a lid, but I would think a cooler would seal better, for when you are on the road.

    Comment by Laurel Sauls — March 29, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

  3. For what it’s worth, I did a real lazy version of vermicomposting, and it worked great. I kept the worm composter outside, so it had a temperature range of 30-100 degrees during the year. I never turned the compost, and never put newspaper on top. It did not smell or get bugs. I had a wriggly worm ranch that has three layers, so when one layer was full I’d just stack another layer on top. When I got around to harvesting the bottom all the worms had moved upwards and sweet pure compost was left behind. I was continually shocked at how easy it was.

    I have heard of other people having problems with worms, but I wanted to share at least one story of it working perfectly. Perhaps you could do a compost cooler with some red wrigglers thrown in, and empty it when you have the chance. The worms would help speed up composting between stops, and you could harvest some of the worms before you dump it. They reproduce and multiply quickly.

    Comment by lisa — March 29, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  4. This is ironic timing, as earlier today I searched again for a plastic-free compost bin. After finding none online, I checked with my local alternative mercantile. Sadly, they have not yet found a plastic-free compost bin either. However, I do have a small stainless steel handled and lidded bucket, which I adore. I’ve had my scraps inside of it for four days and it still smells fine. Of course, where to empty it?? On islands we have rodent issues, so I hope to find a compost bin solution soon, too. If I find something, I’ll holler.

    Comment by Isle Dance — March 29, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

  5. Thank you so much for all the ideas….keep ‘em comin’! I’m excited about the worms now…maybe we can make that work.

    Comment by livelightly2 — March 29, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

  6. I’m not sure how you feel about using a plastic container (obviously, it would be re-used over and over again), but a friend of ours uses a plastic bucket in her kitchen to compost during the winter months. Every once in awhile she adds some composting ‘enzymes’ to move the process along. It works great and, to my memory, there really isn’t a terribly offensive stink :-) We’re going to start trying it out, too.

    Comment by Emily — March 30, 2008 @ 1:01 am

  7. What if you created a bumper plant box like this one:

    Build it a lid with holes in it. You could make it a worm bin instead. When you’re done with it – donate it to someone who could simply plant veggies directly into the lovely soil and compost you’d created on the road! Viola!

    Comment by Zoey — April 1, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  8. Emily – Does your friend have air holes in her bucket or does she leave it tightly sealed? Thanks!

    Comment by Isle Dance — April 2, 2008 @ 7:57 pm

  9. In lieu of the nifty-but-prohibitively-priced NatureMill, one of these might suit you:

    Meanwhile, you’ll be here next Sunday, and I’d be glad to feed your scraps to *my* compost if they haven’t already found a good home… :)

    Comment by mrs. nygren — April 6, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

  10. I’ve been using an old cat litter bucket with a snap-flap lid and a thick layer of shredded newspaper or pine straw or fallen leaves at the bottom to soak up moisture. It doesn’t smell as long as there’s no moisture build-up at the bottom. It’s nice & compact.

    Comment by Samara — April 10, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

  11. Hi I don’t know a whole lot about composting and perhaps I’m out of line,my apologies to anyone who may take offense I don’t mean to be rude. (I am from Canada, the land of people who try very very hard not to be rude LOL)

    Anyways… Why don’t you put your natural waste in the forest? plant it by a tree or inside a log… some little critter may just find themselves a meal?

    I dunno it seems logical to me… Anyways I am curious as to why folks compost, I am attempting to become more knowledgeable about the green movement as I too love my planet and would like to leave something for my descendants in the future…

    Comment by Annie — May 15, 2008 @ 12:21 am

  12. Well, it wouldn’t leave you with useable compost, but you could always just bury your scraps somewhere. At least then they wouldn’t be going into the trash. That’s what I used to do before we had a garden to use the compost in.

    Comment by Julie — May 16, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  13. At worst do the gurella gardener thing and dig it in the ground where you think it will do some good and put in a few sunflower seeds. you might end up brightening someones day with a sunflower in months to come. just a thought from all the way over in western australia!!!

    Comment by Kaz — July 10, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

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