One of the main fears for people who haven't jumped on the composting band wagon is the bad smells often associated with compost bins. But the fact of the matter is that a stinky compost bin is super easy to avoid. And if you've started to compost and you are having some smell issues there are a few things that you should immediately look into to resolve the problem. In no time at all the only smell coming from the bin will be that of fresh soil ready for your organic garden.
Getting rid of the compost bin stink:
1. Your ratio is off.
This is always one of the first things that you should check in the compost bin. You likely have too much green debris that is overpowering the other waste. Fill your bin with about 50 percent dry material and 50 percent green material. A high proportion of greens (kitchen waste/grass clippings) can be the cause of a strong smell in the bin. Add more browns (wood prunings, paper, or cardboard) to fix the problem.
2. Not enough air is getting in.
The absence of air will cause the composting micro-organisms to stop working and be replaced by another type that work without air. The by-product of this activity is a smell similar to that of rotten egg. If you made your own compost bin, make sure that it has holes in it so that air can get in and break down the materials. If there aren't holes, take the top off. It truly doesn't matter as long as air can get to your compost pile.
3. It needs to be stirred or combined.
Some of the more fancy compost bins can be rotated so that the material is automatically combined with every turn, but if yours doesn't have this capability, or you made your own just make sure to stir it. This helps, again, to reintroduce air to the compost.
4. You added carnivorous materials.
Do not use meats, oils, fats, or any droppings from carnivores. You can use droppings from vegetarian animals like horses, cows, and goats. Meat and oils contain fats that don't break down as quickly and attract unwanted pests such as raccoons and insects to the compost pile. But don't worry because you can still add tons of stuff. Read Planet Green's guide to stuff you CAN compost.