Hello Terri, Your container is designed to temporarily hold your fresh kitchen scraps for several days until you can move them outdoors to a composing bin. The biodegradable bag is a convenient feature so that once in the composting bin or the soil, it will break down too. The charcoal filter will absorb any offending odors. If you do not have a composting bin already going outside, you can hold the material in a larger container until spring when you can start your composting or bury in the soil. The container should be rodent/wildlife proof and tightly sealed. It can be outdoors or in the unheated garage. You could also consider Vermiculture as it is a great project with your children. The worms eat the fresh vegetable scraps. To learn more about worm composting check out: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/worms/
With a worm bin, you do not even have to go outside in the cold weather to compost!
Sincerely, Richard Hentschel