Close to zero food waste, if you know what you’re doing, can spend the time, and/or have the right equipment. If you’re inexperienced or don’t know what you’re doing, trying to compost meat scraps or lots of dairy waste or cooking oil will result in foul odors, maggots, and anaerobic pockets in your compost. To compost these things, you need the right balance of carbon to nitrogen, the right moisture level, and frequent turning. This is where equipment comes in: a compost tumbler makes aerating (turning) the compost easier.
Even with the right equipment and knowledge, you’ll still have some food waste that can’t be composted. Meat bones won’t break down in a compost pile. I used to dry out chicken bones and run them through my wood stove, then crumble them into vegetable beds before planting, but this won’t work with mammal bones (fish bones disappear in the compost). Pickles and excessively salty or vinegary things should also be avoided. For a list of what not to compost, see the reference below.
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