Despite the myth that orange rinds don't decompose, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit are acceptable additions to the compost pile. (See References 2, 5) To speed the decomposition of orange rinds, use a blender to grind the thick pieces into a slurry before adding them to the pile. (See References 4)
Items you will need
- Orange rinds
- Dry, or brown, compost materials
Cut the orange rinds into slices. Place the rinds into a blender or food processor.
Add enough water to completely cover the rinds.
Blend on low speed until the rinds and water are reduced to a thin slurry. Add more water if necessary to thin the solution.
Scoop a shallow hole in the center of the compost pile. Pour the orange rind slurry into the hole and allow it to soak into the compost.
Add additional dry, or brown, matter such as dry leaves, shredded paper or ashes to cover the orange rind slurry. Covering the slurry prevents the compost pile from attracting yellow jackets, bees and flies. (See References 5)
- Use warm water and add brewer's yeast to the slurry to accelerate decomposition. (See References 6)
- If the compost pile is too wet, dry orange rinds in the sun for several days. Use a food processor to grind the rinds into a dry powder before adding to the compost pile. Or include the dried orange-peel powder in homemade insect spray, cleaning solutions, facial cleansers and bath oil.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes from acidic juices when processing citrus or orange rinds.
- "Utilization of By-Products and Treatment of Waste in the Food Industry"; Vasso Oreopoulou, et al.
- University of Florida's Online Composting Center: Can I Compost It?
- Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority: Benefits of Backyard Composting
- Contra Costa Clean Water Program: Garden Recipes
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Backyard or Onsite Composting
- Nashville Metro Public Works Division of Waste Management: The Dirt on Composting
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