Exploring the Mystical World of the Bokashi Bin

Claire Oag NPDC EDUCATION Officer



Can be used in a small space

Deals with all food waste, other than liquids and large bones

Produces liquid fertiliser which can also be used as a natural drain cleaner

The solid end product turns into excellent compost and can be dug directly into the ground

Tightly sealed and odourless


As composting and worm farming become more popular solutions for dealing with food scraps, green waste, paper and cardboard, fewer people have heard of the bokashi bin.

Bokashi bins are an ideal solution for those who have limited outdoor space.  In fact, bokashi bins are usually kept in an indoor convenient space such as under a kitchen sink, laundry room or garage.

There are many benefits to using a bokashi bin to deal with your food waste and the one which attracted me most to the idea, is that a bokashi can deal with any type of food waste, given  that it is a sealed system and not likely to attract rodents.  You can put fruit and vegetable scraps into it but in addition to this – you can scrape your leftover dinner in there, it can take meat, cheese, fish and even small bones!

Bokashi is simple as you don’t need to worry about balancing green (nitrogen) matter with brown (carbon) matter as bokashi bins take 100% green waste.

Your bokashi bin will come with a powder or spray containing beneficial microorganisms (much like a yogurt starter) to add regularly which stops the compost from smelling by fermenting it like a pickle.

After each addition of food scraps, you must squash down the waste and seal tightly with the lid to prevent any air inside the container.  The food breaks down faster without oxygen.

It will be necessary to drain the liquid from the bottom of the bin every few days which can then be diluted and added to your plants as a wonderful liquid fertiliser or poured down the drain.  The liquid will actually help to keep your drains clean and can be used in the kitchen, bathroom and shower drains, as a natural alternative to chemical drain cleaners.

Your bokashi should smell like pickles – if it smells really unpleasant you may need to add more of the microorganism additive.

When the bokashi bin is full, wait 10 – 14 days.  The end solid product can be either dug into a trench in your garden or added to a compost heap/bin as a green layer.

Many people have two bokashi bins to allow for continuous use – while one bin is fermenting the other can be used for depositing your food scraps.

For more detailed information on the Bokashi Bin visit: BOKASHI - Compost Collective.