The Q&A Archives: lack of brown leaves in compost bin

Question: I have mostly kitchen waste in my compost bin. It smells. I know there is a lack of brown leaves to counter the smell and add the carbon that the compost needs, but the barrel tumbler is 3/4 full and not much room for leaves. Is there an additive that I can incorporate into the compost tumbler to make up for the carbon deficiency?

Answer: You'll get the fastest results if you just add shredded newspaper or sawdust. Both are quite high in carbon and should balance your compost so it will decompose faster. Be sure to mix it in well - aerating your compost should also help dispell the odor. If you haven't already, toss in a few shovelfuls of garden soil (to introduce some of the good microbes to help break things down quickly). Best wishes with your compost!

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