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Photo/Illustration: Erica Marks
First, fill bucket #1 with a mixture of equal parts of dry sawdust or peat moss and dry soil, with a little limestone added. Do not use sawdust from pressure-treated or painted wood.
Then, on the bottom of bucket #2, lay an inch of dry straw, leaves, or shredded newspaper. Dump your kitchen scraps into bucket #2 as they become available, each time sprinkling on some of the sawdust-soil mixture from bucket #1 to absorb odors and excess moisture. The sawdust-soil mix also adds carbon to the compost-in-progress, which balances out the high nitrogen concentration in most food scraps. If you have a lot of scraps at once, dump in a portion at a time, covering each layer with the sawdust-soil mixture. Chop up large pieces of scraps and let water drain from anything that is very wet before tossing it into the bucket.
When bucket #2 is full, set it in a warm spot indoors and start filling bucket #3. By the time bucket #3 is full, the contents of bucket #2 should be well on the way to becoming compost, that is, no longer looking like garbage and no longer attractive to scavengers.
When buckets #2 and #3 are full, you can dump the contents of bucket #2 outside on your compost pile. Then start filling that bucket again while bucket #3 sits. I keep the bucket I am filling and the sawdust-soil mixture right in my kitchen. Warmth hastens decomposition, and the whole setup is odor- and fly-free, environmentally sound, and very convenient.