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View Poll Results: What do you do with the leftover eggshells?
I throw them away in the trash immediately. 97 57.40%
I throw them in with the food waste for composting immediately.. 41 24.26%
I leave them in the egg carton to be disposed of at a later time (i.e., when the carton is empty). 9 5.33%
I do something else with them which I'll elaborate. 22 13.02%
Voters: 169. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:33 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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What do you do with the eggshells?

When you've cracked an egg, what do you do with the leftover eggshell? Do you toss it in the garbage immediately or do you leave it in the egg carton and toss the eggshells out with the empty carton?

My husband tells me that leaving the empty shells in the carton is a good way to grow salmonella in our refrigerator risking cross contamination of the intact eggs and everything else.

And it grosses him out.

And just because my mother did it doesn't make it right.

I think it's no big deal because if there is salmonella it's on the outside of the egg and would already be present in the fridge. The important thing is making sure you don't touch already cooked or to-be-eaten-raw food to eggshells or raw meat; and most importantly, that you wash your hands frequently while cooking when handling meat or anything that came out of the vicinity of a chicken's butt.
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:43 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is online now
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I pitch most of them in a bowl to dry for a day or two, then grind them and give them back to the chickens.

As for what you're doing, I presume you're washing your hands before closing the carton and not touching the other shells when getting new eggs out. Frankly, I think you're more likely to get cross-contamination from storing meat in your fridge.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:46 PM
Marconi N. Cheese Marconi N. Cheese is offline
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We have a garbage disposal so I throw them in the sink and grind them up. I wouldn't leave the shells in the carton.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:48 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I've heard egg shells will eventually clog disposals. ?

In spring I toss them in the garden. The rest of the time, they go in the trash.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:48 PM
crazytooth615 crazytooth615 is offline
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egg shells make good compost material, if you compost.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:49 PM
PeskiPiksi PeskiPiksi is offline
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Another vote for garbage disposal here.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:02 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi N. Cheese View Post
We have a garbage disposal so I throw them in the sink and grind them up. I wouldn't leave the shells in the carton.
This is what I would do and also what I wouldn't do.

My wife throws one or two shells in the garbage, but if she cracks a lot of eggs at once, those she throws in the compost.

I generally defer to her about the kitchen and refrigerator, but if she was putting the eggshells back in the carton, I'd complain too.

ETA:
Quote:
I've heard egg shells will eventually clog disposals.
Too many at once might, but they shouldn't be building up over time.

Last edited by ZenBeam; 08-30-2011 at 09:04 PM..
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:04 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
I pitch most of them in a bowl to dry for a day or two, then grind them and give them back to the chickens.

As for what you're doing, I presume you're washing your hands before closing the carton and not touching the other shells when getting new eggs out. Frankly, I think you're more likely to get cross-contamination from storing meat in your fridge.
Pretty much, yes. I wash my hands after handling the egg carton. I figure the whole carton is suspect. But my trash bin is not right where I crack eggs (at the stove, usually) and I prefer not to carry them across the room possibly dripping raw egg on the floor to drop them in the garbage. Like some people. Gross.

My method keeps any and all egg drips on the counter where it will be quickly cleaned up or in the carton which will remain closed in the fridge. I'm pretty sure if there's salmonella in my house, it's on my sink and sponge. I'm don't feel all that inclined to blast everything with sanitizer all the time.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:05 PM
Vita Beata Vita Beata is offline
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I throw them into the garden to add to the soil and birds' nutrients. I would not leave egg shells in the carton. If I were not putting them in the garden, I would toss them down the garbage disposal.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:12 PM
carnut carnut is offline
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If I need them for the garden, I put them in a bowl to dry out and then crush them to sprinkle around the hosta plants. Slugs hate crushed eggshell. Otherwise, they go into the garbage disposal.

My mother used to put them in a blender along with other rotten veggies. She'd add water and call it veggie soup. She would then take it out to her AZ garden and pour it around the plants.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:14 PM
Ostrya Ostrya is offline
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I toss mine in the garden. And another vote for not leaving them in carton.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:21 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Why not leave eggshells in the carton? I'm considering it since this seems to be the consensus, but "it's gross" doesn't sway me much, frankly.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:22 PM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
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I rinse the insides with water so they don't start to stink and toss 'em in the large trash barrel just past the door into the garage.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 PM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is offline
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I crack them into the pan, and put the shells in one hole of the carton all stacked up. Then I pick up the stack and throw them in the trash.

(I don't compost.)

Last edited by Dolores Reborn; 08-30-2011 at 10:27 PM..
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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I'm saddened that over half the votes so far are "straight in the trash". Is composting your organic waste not as nearly universal as I thought?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Why not leave eggshells in the carton? I'm considering it since this seems to be the consensus, but "it's gross" doesn't sway me much, frankly.
But why do it? You don't put any other trash in the fridge. Er, do you?
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:44 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Askance View Post
I'm saddened that over half the votes so far are "straight in the trash". Is composting your organic waste not as nearly universal as I thought?
In the U.S., composting is much more the exception than the rule. Most people let the garbage disposal grind it up, or throw it in the trash. You'll probably find a higher fraction of composters here than in the U.S. population at large, but I'm pretty confident that composters will be a clear minority in this poll.

I'd personally never considered it until I moved into this house 13 years ago. The previous owner had built a compost bin, and I figured what the hell, I might as well use it. Now I wouldn't think of doing anything else with my eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable waste, yard clippings, etc.
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  #17  
Old 08-30-2011, 11:15 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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I do all three.
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  #18  
Old 08-30-2011, 11:23 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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No one is mentioning the danger of uncrushed egg shell halves! Don't you know witches can sail in them, or write people's names to cast spells?













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  #19  
Old 08-30-2011, 11:29 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Why not leave eggshells in the carton? I'm considering it since this seems to be the consensus, but "it's gross" doesn't sway me much, frankly.
Because it's gross is why. Just like "why don't we put orange peels back in the fruit bowl?" has the same answer. Oranges probably wouldn't get contaminated by the peels any more than eggs sharing a carton with shells would since the whole oranges have a nice thick peel themselves and at normal humidity/room temperature the old ones dry out sooner than get slimy, but it's just not usually done. People find mixing food remains with fresh food icky, and that's all there is to it.
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2011, 11:41 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
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I use crushed egg shells in my homemade dog food.
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  #21  
Old 08-31-2011, 12:53 AM
Sparky the Wonder Spirit Sparky the Wonder Spirit is offline
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
People find mixing food remains with fresh food icky, and that's all there is to it.
Pretty much. I don't put onion skins and apple cores back in the crisper drawer, either.

The refrigerator is for storing food, not waste materials.
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2011, 12:54 AM
jabiru jabiru is offline
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When I used to compost (before the compost started to attract vermin) I'd put the shells there. Now they go straight into the bin. It wouldn't occur to me to put rubbish back into the 'fridge.
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  #23  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:16 AM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
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Originally Posted by Rushgeekgirl View Post
I use crushed egg shells in my homemade dog food.
Me too Rushgeekgirl - only I powder them. (After washing them, and drying them in the oven to remove chemical traces, if anyone's askin'...)

Sorry Brown Eyed Girl - I'm a "that's gross" voter. Why risk of salmonella?

I'm curious to know why you don't just throw them out at the time, if you're not planning to do anything with them.
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  #24  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:40 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Crunch 'em up and toss 'em on the garden.
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  #25  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:51 AM
chizzuk chizzuk is offline
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I toss them in the trash. I live in a 4th floor apartment in a giant parking lot. Composting would be a huge hassle.

The idea of sticking the shells back in the carton, however, is very strange and had never even occurred to me before. Why would you do that? I don't put empty wrappers and juice cartons back in the fridge when I've used them; they're trash. Same for egg shells. Storing food waste in the fridge next to the regular food is pretty nasty.

And what is this about the salmonella only being on the outside of the egg? This article says it enters the shell through pores, so it would be on the inside.
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  #26  
Old 08-31-2011, 03:26 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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I used to save them to feed to the chickens in the container, but I don't have chickens anymore and now I put them back in the carton out of habit. Valid reasons for putting them back is A) when the lid is closed on the egg carton you can't see the shells, and 2) you're going to throw the egg carton away anyway, what's the problem with putting the shells back? The only way you're getting salmonella from eggshells is if you're rubbing your food all over them before serving. Bacteria don't fly around all willy nilly.
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  #27  
Old 08-31-2011, 06:42 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Why not leave eggshells in the carton? I'm considering it since this seems to be the consensus, but "it's gross" doesn't sway me much, frankly.
Well, even if I didn't compost, I wouldn't put them back in the carton. They've gone from "food containers" to "trash". If you are concerned about drips, get out an extra plate or bowl, and put the shells in that, and then pitch in the garbage when you have a chance. But putting trash back into a food container is not a good habit, even if your mother DID do it.
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2011, 08:07 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by Askance View Post
I'm saddened that over half the votes so far are "straight in the trash". Is composting your organic waste not as nearly universal as I thought?
Eggshells aren't exactly "organic" - they're mostly calcium carbonate so they don't rot down as such.

That said, I do usually put them in the compost bin, but I try to crush them up before doing so, otherwise they just come out whole in the compost. My soil is fairly acidic, so the extra lime from the shells probably helps a little bit.
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  #29  
Old 08-31-2011, 08:36 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
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Originally Posted by Peremensoe View Post
No one is mentioning the danger of uncrushed egg shell halves! Don't you know witches can sail in them, or write people's names to cast spells?
Dammit, it's bad enough the composters are reducing the available supplies of uncrushed eggshell halves, now YOU have to let that cat out of the bag! What's a witch to do these days?

... um... what was your name again? My pen slipped on this shell....

More seriously, in addition to adding mine to the compost heap, I also boil some of them and give them them to the family parrots, who seem to enjoy chewing on them as much as they do potato chips or crackers.

Last edited by Broomstick; 08-31-2011 at 08:38 AM..
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2011, 08:46 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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There's no "food waste for composting" here, eggshells go with the "non recyclable trash". The other varieties of trash are reusable/large (they get picked up by the same NPO), glass, packaging and paper/cardboard. Both the wastewater treatment plant and the garbage treatment plant do compost, but there isn't a separate pickup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Askance View Post
I'm saddened that over half the votes so far are "straight in the trash". Is composting your organic waste not as nearly universal as I thought?
If you can tell me why and how to compost in a 80m2 3rd-floor walk-on with no living plants, I'm all ears. Not everybody lives in individual houses with gardens.

Last edited by Nava; 08-31-2011 at 08:50 AM..
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  #31  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:13 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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Garbage disposer.
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  #32  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:22 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post

If you can tell me why and how to compost in a 80m2 3rd-floor walk-on with no living plants, I'm all ears. Not everybody lives in individual houses with gardens.
My composting is municipal, so the sadness over a lack of composting isn't just for individuals.

/sidetrack
I was really worried when they introduced it that it would smell, be a pain to keep up with and generally be unsuccessful but it was an easier change than figuring out what qualifies for the blue box. If your municipality is considering this give them all the support you can. Ours uses the compost for all municiple plantings and provides compost at a low cost if you drive to the recycling centre to pick it up.
/sidetrack off
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  #33  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:54 AM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Bin. I don't have a garden and my borough doesn't do compost collection. I don't keep the carton anyway - my eggs live in a porcelain duck on the windowsill.
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  #34  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:05 AM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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Originally Posted by Moonlitherial View Post
My composting is municipal, so the sadness over a lack of composting isn't just for individuals.
Yeah, but it's not necessarily feasible in some municipalities...my city has some composting in certain neighbourhoods, but it just isn't realistic where I live. Where would we keep it? Indoors is gross, and I don't so much have a balcony as a slightly large fire escape, so that's not really do-able. There is no yard in my building. There are mice and rats and other vermin in the city (100-year old buildings, it happens). Composting is a really nice thought, but it just doesn't work. We even have twice-a-week garbage pickup and it still festers and stinks up the place during the summer.

As for egg shells, I'll pile them up on the stainless steel counter until I have a chance to scoop them up and toss them in the trash. Then I clean the counter.
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  #35  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:15 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Garbage, and I would have been shocked if that weren't the overwhelming answer. I just don't see the point of putting your trash back into the fridge to throw out later.
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  #36  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:18 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by Askance View Post
But why do it? You don't put any other trash in the fridge. Er, do you?
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Originally Posted by 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast View Post
Sorry Brown Eyed Girl - I'm a "that's gross" voter. Why risk of salmonella?

I'm curious to know why you don't just throw them out at the time, if you're not planning to do anything with them.
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Originally Posted by chizzuk View Post
The idea of sticking the shells back in the carton, however, is very strange and had never even occurred to me before. Why would you do that? I don't put empty wrappers and juice cartons back in the fridge when I've used them; they're trash. Same for egg shells. Storing food waste in the fridge next to the regular food is pretty nasty.
I already explained why I do it. A) It's convenient and less messy to drop the eggshell right back in an empty pocket of the egg carton to throw them all out at the same time, B) I don't find eggshells to be particularly gross, and C) I don't believe there is any additional risk of transferring salmonella to the unbroken eggs (I may very well be wrong about this, I admit).

To me, they are just as much foodstuff as they were prior to removing the insides, so it doesn't bother me having them sit in the fridge any more than it does having a partially empty egg carton sitting in the fridge which will eventually also become trash. As long as they're in the fridge they don't rot or smell or get any grosser than they were when they were intact. Any residual egg white on the shell dries out quickly and the eggshells are contained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chizzuk View Post
And what is this about the salmonella only being on the outside of the egg? This article says it enters the shell through pores, so it would be on the inside.
Thank you for fighting my ignorance. I now understand there is likely to be more salmonella around the egg yolk than on the outside of the shell. Still, I think the risk of cross-contamination from broken eggshells is slim for several reasons: the eggshells do not coalesce with the unused egg; the eggshells are refrigerated preventing any exposed salmonella from multiplying; and salmonella poisoning from eggs accounts for less than 1% of food-borne illness.* I am more concerned with contamination from raw meat and slightly more concerned about contaminated vegetables.

And I am still going to eat my eggs over easy at least while can still depend on a healthy immune system.

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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Because it's gross is why. Just like "why don't we put orange peels back in the fruit bowl?" has the same answer. Oranges probably wouldn't get contaminated by the peels any more than eggs sharing a carton with shells would since the whole oranges have a nice thick peel themselves and at normal humidity/room temperature the old ones dry out sooner than get slimy, but it's just not usually done. People find mixing food remains with fresh food icky, and that's all there is to it.
Sure, I might do it with orange peel to if I found it convenient and/or necessary. You know, if it came in its own trash receptacle like eggs do. Orange peel doesn't gross me out either. To be clear, though, there's a big difference in my mind between leaving something in the fridge and leaving it on a counter. Put it back in the fruit bowl at room temp and it's going to start rotting and attract bugs. As it is, I can't have even fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter in our apartment because the complex is infested with gnats, flies, and roaches. Ergo, I have had to start using a smaller trash bin and taking it out more frequently, nor do I feel comfortable composting considering the number of roaches I see outside my door. Organic materials don't attract pests while they are in the fridge and I can throw them out all at once, then take the full trash out, thereby reducing the organics in my trash at any one time. I guess it's sort of a passive pest control method, come to think of it.
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  #37  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:24 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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The eggshells go into the compost bucket, because the carton isn't future trash, it's future recycling.
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  #38  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:29 AM
Implicit Implicit is offline
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Why not leave eggshells in the carton? I'm considering it since this seems to be the consensus, but "it's gross" doesn't sway me much, frankly.
The carton is recyclable, that's why not. At the lake I save the cartons and give them to a friend with chickens, in the winter they go out with the paper recycling. I compost the eggshells.
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  #39  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:32 AM
chela chela is offline
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Walking on eggshells? I'm a lazy composter, most green waste gets pitched whole into the hole, so too many eggshelss not good. I am a better recycler so the carton would have to remain clean from egg droppings, thus eggshells get tossed immediately after cracking.
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  #40  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:36 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I toss them (and the rest of the egg) into a blemderful of juice, let 'er rip, and drink them down. Good source of calcium.
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  #41  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:05 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by twickster View Post
The eggshells go into the compost bucket, because the carton isn't future trash, it's future recycling.
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Originally Posted by Implicit View Post
The carton is recyclable, that's why not.
I wish, but not my egg cartons which are styrofoam and not accepted for recycling in my community. I would prefer to buy eggs packaged in the paper pulp cartons, but they are more expensive and harder to find these days.

Last edited by Brown Eyed Girl; 08-31-2011 at 11:06 AM..
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  #42  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:13 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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I also grind them in the garbage disposal.
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  #43  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:18 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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Something else. They are crushed and mixed in with cracked corn that gets fed to the geese.
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  #44  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:22 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Originally Posted by Askance View Post
I'm saddened that over half the votes so far are "straight in the trash". Is composting your organic waste not as nearly universal as I thought?
We don't all live in the suburbs where humans have driven out all the big mammals. Composting food waste can attract raccoons and bears. I don't know about you, but while I've made peace with raccoons I don't like bears in my yard. That's why we don't compost anymore.
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  #45  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:26 AM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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Disposal here. I definitely wouldn't put them back in the carton, because I return the carton to the egg vendor at the farmers market.
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  #46  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:28 AM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is online now
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Pretty much, yes. I wash my hands after handling the egg carton. I figure the whole carton is suspect. But my trash bin is not right where I crack eggs (at the stove, usually) and I prefer not to carry them across the room possibly dripping raw egg on the floor to drop them in the garbage. Like some people. Gross.

My method keeps any and all egg drips on the counter where it will be quickly cleaned up or in the carton which will remain closed in the fridge. I'm pretty sure if there's salmonella in my house, it's on my sink and sponge. I'm don't feel all that inclined to blast everything with sanitizer all the time.
Protip: have a garbage bowl on the counter. (God help me, but I picked up that tip from Rachel Ray's cooking shows.) A mixing bowl or whatever, right there where you need it, to toss carrot tops, eggshells, etc. Then all the waste gets thrown out at the same time when you're done - no dripping on the floor required.
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  #47  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:38 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Protip: have a garbage bowl on the counter. (God help me, but I picked up that tip from Rachel Ray's cooking shows.) A mixing bowl or whatever, right there where you need it, to toss carrot tops, eggshells, etc. Then all the waste gets thrown out at the same time when you're done - no dripping on the floor required.
I already do that when I'm chopping vegetables and preparing a meal, but a bowl just for some eggshells? Seems unnecessary when the carton performs the same task.
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  #48  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:13 PM
Chopper9760 Chopper9760 is offline
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Really, back into the carton? Eww. OTOH you and your Ma both do it and no one is sick so...what ever floats your boat, right?

Eggshells go right into the disposal.

No thank you to composting. My neighbor does it with a tumbler and animals are always screwing with it. He keeps asking people to come shoot bears for him and I always think, "Yeah, I'll get right on that, just as soon as you stop baiting them."
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  #49  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:21 PM
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Several days out of the month I walk on 'em.
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  #50  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
Pretty much, yes. I wash my hands after handling the egg carton. I figure the whole carton is suspect. But my trash bin is not right where I crack eggs (at the stove, usually) and I prefer not to carry them across the room possibly dripping raw egg on the floor to drop them in the garbage. Like some people. Gross.

My method keeps any and all egg drips on the counter where it will be quickly cleaned up or in the carton which will remain closed in the fridge. I'm pretty sure if there's salmonella in my house, it's on my sink and sponge. I'm don't feel all that inclined to blast everything with sanitizer all the time.
I crack eggs on/over a piece of paper towel laid on the counter, put the empties there 'til I've got them all opened, then wad up the P-towel with the shells inside and carry it across the kitchen to the trash. No muss, no fuss, no bacterial growth
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