We Added a Compost Bucket in the Bathroom: Here's What Happened

We Added a Compost Bucket in the Bathroom: Here's What Happened

We've Upped Our Bathroom Waste-Sorting Game, and We're So Glad We Did

Most people have a garbage can in their bathroom. Most people do NOT have a recycling bin or a compost bucket in their bathroom. But recently, while I was emptying our bathroom garbages, I started to wonder... why not? At my house, we have those three receptacles in the kitchen. And as I emptied the trash in the bathroom, I noticed toilet paper from people blowing their noses; a toothpaste box from someone who had been too lazy to walk to the kitchen; hair removed from the hair brush... and quite a few other things that actually belonged in the compost or recycling. 

I mulled it over for a couple of weeks. Would anyone protest if I added a couple more baskets or bins beside the toilet? Was it too cluttered?

The answer came in the form of a beer-brand ice bucket, about half the size of our current bathroom garbage can. Someone was offering it for free here at work, so I took it home, replaced the garbage can with it, and added a small basket for recycling and a tin with a lid for compost. Voila - this didn't take up much more space and it's a pretty easy-to-grasp system!

The Result?

There hasn't been any pushback, and putting these containers right there has meant that my family members have used them. The compost doesn't get smelly because there is no produce going in there in the bathroom -- everything that goes in is dry, including tissues, toilet paper, hair, compostable dental floss from Flosspot/KMH Touches, bamboo toothbrushes by Brush Naked (with the heads snapped off), nail clippings, even bandages from PATCH Strips. Any cotton, paper and cardboard products can also go in there when appropriate, as long as they don't contain plastic. For a list of 22 Things You Didn't Know You Could Compost, check out this blog post from Momtastic.com.

The recycling basket is the place for empty contact solution bottles, any boxes that product comes in, toilet paper rolls, and any incidentals.

All three receptacles only have to be emptied every couple of weeks, because each one fills quite slowly. The compost bucket doesn't need a liner as everything going in is dry -- we can add it to the kitchen bag or dump it straight into our municipal green bin. For anyone doing their own backyard composting, all of the same materials listed above should be fine in your backyard bin, depending on quantity. Remember that all of these items will count as "browns" and need to be balanced accordingly with "greens" and kept suitably moist in the bin. 

This change has meant that our bathroom trash has decreased drastically, and all of that compostable material can now actually break down. Remember -- biodegradable and compostable goods don't break down unless they are under the right conditions. This means they need to be exposed to oxygen and moisture, and ideally turned or agitated periodically. When these materials are put into a plastic garbage bag and compressed in a landfill, they do not compost nor biodegrade. Proper disposal matters!

Interested in incorporating compostable goods into your hygiene routine? Our crowdfunding campaign runs until June 15, and the Tooth Fairy incentive pack includes both a bamboo toothbrush and compostable dental floss. The best part? You get $32 of Canadian-made, eco-friendly dental care goodies for $25! But only until June 15, so get them while they last.

Posted by Lindsay on 6/13/2019 to Zero Waste Living