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How to Convert Kitchen Waste Into Organic Fertilizer Using a Compost Bin

We are composting our kitchen wastes using the compost bin, as recommended by master urban container gardener Mr. Jojo Rom. I used to compost in a pit but the rats and flies came. With the covered compost bin, we avoid these pests; I will also use leachate from the compost as ingredient to organic fertilizer and food for the worms. We decreased our garbage and converted them to produce organic natural foods. Happy days!


Below is information from Mr. Jojo Rom regarding “Barrel Composting”, which I’m writing here in full, with his permission.  Errors and omissions are mine.  (Note:  instead of barrel, I used a compost bin, as it is readily available.)

“Barrel Composting” (BC) – for Kitchen Scraps / Waste Only

By:  Mr.  Perfecto “Jojo” Rom Jr., “Urban Container Gardening:  A Home Farming Manual”

How to make a barrel composter


    • 30-40 liter capacity plastic barrel with lid (cover)
    • Soldering iron/rod
  • Threaded PVC “Tee” and adaptor coupling

Steps in constructing barrel composter

    1. Obtain a plastic barrel (about 30-40 liter capacity).
    1. Perforate around the sides and the bottom part of the barrel using hot rod (soldering iron) at 1 cm in diameter hole set in zigzag position along sides and diamond arrangement at the base of the barrel with a distance of 3 inches between hole (see figure 1).
    1. Construct platform enough to fix and fit the barrel on it.
    1. Place a leachate/liquid catching pan.
  1. Fix a ventilator on the lid using a PVC “Tee”; lock with an adaptor coupling underneath the lid (see figure 1-a).

Barrel composter 3

Important Notes

    1. The presence of garbage worms (Black Soldier Fly larva-see on YouTube) indicates that your barrel composter favors their growth (at optimum temperature and aeration).  This is good since worms participate in the decomposition process (mechanically), as they feed on the bio-waste, thus hasten extraction of body-water from the waste.  The more worms in your composter, the better.  If the composter emits foul odor, it means that the ventilation/aeration is poor and water drainage is poor.
      • To eliminate odor:
          • Spread 1 liter molasses in the barrel and mix with the garbage, or
          • Sprinkle powdered charcoal enough to cover the waste, or
        • Spray 2 bottles of “Yakult”, or any available probiotics.
    1. Remove sediments (or any hardy vegetable leaves) that block the holes of the barrel composter by tilting the barrel and inserting BBQ stick in the whole.
    1. Water from your kitchen refuse must be drained out before throwing the waste in the barrel composter, as water causes foul smell.
    1. Always cover the barrel composter from rain.
  1. Do not throw banana leaves, corn sheath/peeling as these may block the holes of the barrel composter.  Rather, throw them in the heap composting box.


Learnings from my experience:

    1. I recycled a plastic trash container from my office as compost bin so I save on cost and eliminate buying of new plastic.
    1. Barrel composter
    1. I also recycled a metal stand, and placed a catch basin underneath.
    1. metal stand1
    1. On our kitchen sink, I placed a recycled small plastic container, with holes at the bottom to drain out the water.  I throw the kitchen waste into the compost bin at the end of the day or when the container becomes full.
    1. small container1
    1. I once experimented putting cow dung into the compost bin to hasten the decomposition process, but it was a wrong move.  The compost bin started emitting a foul smell and attracted flies.  To correct the situation, Jojo recommended that I cover the garbage with ash, and thereafter, the foul smell and flies disappeared.
    1. I also experimented using a recycled broken pail and covered it with a wooden lid, but the flies started coming.  I learned that the lid should fit the compost bin perfectly.
    1. pail1
    1. I get some black soldier fly larva and feed these to my chicken.  The chicken finishes them in nanoseconds!
    1. Once all kitchen waste turn black and its volume becomes half, I feed the decomposed waste into my worm bin to further convert it into vermicompost organic fertilizer.  How the worms love the decomposed kitchen waste!
  1. This decomposed kitchen waste can now be mixed with common top soil to become organic fertilizer.

Good luck in this compost bin project, and message me for feedback!


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