That is NOT garbage.

Home Inspector with Perfection Inspection, Inc.

The cabinet under the kitchen sink is a highly neglected area.

This is the area that we shove highly noxious cleaners and surfactants. Many people even have garbage cans under their sinks. For me, the soap and cleaners are no exception however I do not keep any garbage under my sinkIn fact I keep a tub to collect some of the best stuff that my household produces.

The tub holds all kinds of material that is just full of macro and micro nutrients. It is organic, all natural and when I take it to it's place of magic, outside, it is just teeming with molds, fungus and all sorts of wiggling organisms doing their part to better my life.

The tub is a significant part of the process however the real magic does not happen till it goes outside.  Once the tub's payload is delivered the previously mentioned critters go to work.  Through (hopefully) aerobic bacterial action the complex materials are consumed and wastes are excreted.  Sounds gross but it is actually exactly what I want!

Once most of the available complex materials are consumed most of the micro organisms die.  Sad, but it is an integral part of the process, and their death releases tons of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium as well as all sorts of other trace elements that are ready and waiting for the lucky plants that get to grow their roots in to the piles of decomposed micro organisms.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am talking about the lowly compost pile.  It begins as a pile of food debris under my kitchen sink but ends up feeding my plants what they need to grow happy and healthy.



Blue Morning Glory



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Collette Sarmento
Cameron Real Estate Group - Wakefield, MA
781*258*9718--Your Agent For Life

Not sure I could live with that!  I think it's a great idea, but the smell could be really gross!

Oct 07, 2010 07:18 AM #1
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I agree---it is a crime what we do with that stuff.  On my planet garbage disposals would not be allowed :)

Oct 07, 2010 07:23 AM #2
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The same drama unfolds here in my kitchen and back yard. So much good stuff gets thrown in the trash. What a pity.

Oct 07, 2010 07:38 AM #3
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

What a great idea for the post, and what to do with rinds, etc.  Do you use eggshells for the calcium??  A truly good thing to have under the kitchen sink -- compost material.

Oct 07, 2010 03:49 PM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jim - if I did that my back yard would have lines of stray cats, fox, raccoons, deer and bears.  They would need to take a number and be polite to each other so everyone got a little!

All the time I see compost piles here that have been ravaged and spread all over the yard!

Oct 08, 2010 01:28 AM #6
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Collette:  The trick is that you MUST take it out DAILY!  if you don't it is gross.

Charles:  ...all those vital nutrients washed down the drain..:(

James:  It is good stuff for sure.

Valerie:  The bucket does get pretty nasty and a good (outdoor) scrubbing is in order from time to time.  That glove holder is pretty neat!  I have seen under a lot of sinks and I have NEVER seen one of those.

Carla:  Egg shells, banana peels, coffee grounds it is all great stuff.

Trish:  That works too.  They have some nice looking cans around these days.

Jay:  That is too bad.  You have got to lock all that good stuff away from those rascals eh?  Nice to hear that they are polite though!

Oct 08, 2010 04:27 AM #7
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

What a great "green" post and so glad to see you not only blog about it, but you LIVE it!  Way to go!  Kathy

Oct 08, 2010 07:09 AM #8
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Nice telling of the process... I'm in a condo now, so no compost pile these days. Great post...

Oct 08, 2010 10:33 AM #9
Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

wow what a great post and you are using your compost in a great way gee I am embarrassed over my silly blog about Cascade now!  If I was a judge you would win

Oct 08, 2010 11:26 AM #10
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mine is a bucket on a shelf by the back door. It's amazing how fast that bucket gets filled with things that would normally go in the trash.

I did learn one thing early on, however. I don't put watermellon or cantaloupe leavings in my compost pile after the first few episodes of having to scrub skunky dogs in the middle of the night.

My husband still shakes his head over how excited I got over the quality of the dirt that my compost pile produced over the summer.

He seems to think walking around with a handful of dirt saying "Isn't this beautiful?" is just a little nuts.

Oct 08, 2010 05:39 PM #11
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Kathy: Thanks

Rene: Thank you.  That would be embarrassing to have the skunks and raccoons tear your balcony pile apart!

Marilyn:  Your post was great!  That is what is so neat about this contest.  Everyone sees something different.

Marte: Ha!  So far the critters seem to have better things to mess with around this area.  I can just see you in your yard with a handful of dirt.  I do the same thing!

Oct 09, 2010 12:25 AM #12
Mel Wagner
Knipe Realty - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Agent Salem Oregon Real Estate

Jim-does Bree really let you keep that under there with the wiggling organisms in it?  Ewww....  Great post, but I'm not sure I could do wiggling creatures under my sink.  I would have to empty it every day.

Oct 09, 2010 08:21 AM #13
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Mel: It does get emptied everyday.  The wiggling critters I was referring to are bacteria, so they are a little more tolerable.

Oct 09, 2010 09:36 AM #14
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jim ~ I was assuming from the beginning that's what you were talking about.  But I wasn't actually versed on how composts worked.  And thanks to your post, now I know!

Oct 09, 2010 10:31 AM #15
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

My wife has been wanting to start a compost pile for quite a while now.  Once we get a yard big enough to have a garden, we'll probably start one.

Oct 12, 2010 12:59 AM #16
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Dawn:  I kind of gave it away with the pictures.

Reuben:  Are you house hunting now?  That is always tricky for someone who relies on agent referrals!

Oct 12, 2010 02:08 AM #17
Rosi Green
AmeriTitle - Silverton, OR

Our chickens are the happy recipients of most of our food trash and then they efficiently turn it into another form of compost.  We take it out daily when we go out to collect eggs and check on the ladies.  :o)  Thanks for the post Jim. 

Nov 05, 2010 06:42 AM #19
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