A compost crock is a container used for the collection of food waste for the purpose of composting. Although any resealable, airtight container can be used to collect kitchen scraps, compost crocks are designed and manufactured with this specific purpose in mind. In addition to functionality, many compost crocks are also designed to be an attractive addition to kitchen decor.
On average, roughly 25 percent of solid waste disposed of at municipal landfills is composed of yard waste and food scraps. Composting is an almost effortless way to recycle food scraps by creating a nutrient-rich lawn and garden fertilizer known as humus. Once a composting box is placed in the yard, the only effort required to create humus is to collect the appropriate food scraps from the kitchen and deposit it in the outdoor box. Nature takes care of the rest. The humus produced can then be used as lawn fertilizer, mulch, and topsoil for new plants.
The typical, commercially available compost crock is made from either stainless steel or ceramic. Shaped like a miniature garbage can, the most common models are 10.5 to 11 inches (26.67 to 27.94cm) tall with a diameter of 6.5 to 8 inches (16.51 to 20.32cm). The ceramic models come in a variety of shades from basic white to bright primary colors. There is one manufacturer that produces a compost crock shaped like a large, shiny apple for those desiring an even more decorative approach.
Kitchen compost crocks are constructed to be odor-free, with tight-sealing rubber gaskets and replaceable charcoal filters in the lid. Biodegradable liners are also available. Liners aren't required, but they can cut down even further on odors and are helpful when it comes time to empty the crock.
A compost crock eliminates the need to dash out to the backyard compost bin after each meal cleanup. As with indoor recycling bins, the convenience of a compost crock can increase the likelihood of food scraps being recycled for compost instead of being tossed away with non-recyclable refuse. With a 3-quart (2.84 liter) capacity, a typical compost crock would only need to be emptied outdoors twice a week for the average family. Using the sealed compost crock for disposal of eggshells, coffee grinds, and vegetable peels can cut also down on kitchen odors that often result from disposing these materials in ordinary kitchen trash bins.
The typical compost crock fits easily on most kitchen counters, and with no more than an 8-inch (20.32cm) base they have a relatively small footprint. Most are fitted with a bail-style handle for easy emptying, whether or not a biodegradable liner is used. Even without the liners, both the ceramic and stainless steel versions are easy to clean with hot water. The charcoal filters can be purchased separately, and are effective for up to six months.