Composting Mistake: Too Many Greens

Posted on May 7 2009 - 1:50pm by Mike Lieberman

On Tuesday when I turned the compost all was well and there was no smell. Two days later not so much. It stank and it stank bad.

The batteries on my video camera died, so there is no video, but that has nothing to do with the smell. I had a feeling that the last pile of composting greens were too much. Just got too over zealous.

Instead of scrapping the bin all together, I am attempting to remedy the situation. The bin was leaking through the holes in the bottom and the smell was awful.

My plan was to remove a lot of what was in the bin and replace it with browns to soak up the moisture and get rid of the smell. I shoveled the existing compost into two of the buckets and mixed them around. It was packed pretty tight in there and took about 20 minutes to get all of the stank compost out.

Once I got it all out and separated into three buckets, I mixed them around much like would be done in an outdoor composting bin. A fresh bed of newspaper shreds and soil was layered on the bottom, topped with a small layer of the existing compost.

Did this for about three or four layers. I wound up taking about two full three gallon garbage bags out of my compost bin and brought it to my local composting garden.

I’ll give this a few days to see if that awful smell subsides. Another lesson learned, don’t put too much food into the compost bin. Especially when that bin is in your kitchen. Have I mentioned the smell?