If you live in apartment, it’s time you started composting with our apartment composting guide. No, seriously, it is.
Firstly, you can grow your own food in the city.
If you haven’t already check out our urban farming guide with the lowdown on how to get started.
Who knows? You may even be able to make money growing food in your apartment!
You should also compost even if you don’t grow your own food and that’s because it cuts down on the food waste that leaves your apartment to end up in landfill.
In landfill, it will contribute to the creation of greenhouse gases and make the planet a worse place for everyone.
As compost, you can always donate what you create to a local farmer or gardener and maybe do a deal to get a few of the products that they grow in exchange?
There’s nothing tastier than fresh food straight from the ground that hasn’t been covered in pesticides and weedkiller before it hits the plate.
And no, composting doesn’t need to take up a huge amount of space as you will see.
In fact, the methods we’ve picked for apartment composting assume that you have no yard or garden space at all and maybe not even any balcony, basement or deck space, either.
Have Your Compost Picked Up
OK, this is cheating a little bit. It also costs money, but you can easily get a pick-up service to come to your house to take away your food scraps and put them into composting.
We’d advise that you do your homework when choosing a service like this – you want to know where your scraps and money are going, precisely.
They should be able to explain how the composting will work and where your compost will go.
A Big Red Flag From Compost Haulers
Poor operations take their compost and cover landfill sites with it (yes, really) and we don’t think that you want to support that, do you?
So, Google for a service and ask a few questions and then contract out your composting on a permanent basis.
Of course, this method isn’t for everyone.
It Can Be Expensive, Though
Particularly, given that this can cost up to $25 a month for a household, taking care of the environment is good but many of us need to take care of the pennies too.
Drop Off Compost Services
This is like the pick-up service but without the pick-up part.
That means no $25 a month fee but it does mean that you need to do a little more work to be rid of your food scraps.
A quick Google search should reveal someone nearby that is only too happy to receive your scraps to turn them into compost.
The Dump And Run Method
You just take the waste and dump it into the composter and leave.
(You might want to collect a bit at home if you have to travel any real distances for this).
You can Google for composting drop off spots in your state and area.
If you can’t find any, that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.
There Will Be Somewhere Looking For Your Scraps
Try to find any local urban farms or even community gardens and if that fails a farmer’s market or community center will often have a compost bin that they’re not advertising.
The majority of these services are free, but we have heard of places charging a token $5 for a deposit.
By doing this on a regular basis, you encourage people to keep making their own compost in your local area.
Sometimes, it may feel like you’re the only ones dropping off compost but don’t let that put you off.
Composting With Worms
Another way to compost in a small space is to use worms.
Now, we appreciate that to some people that will sound like the most awful idea ever – if that’s you, skip right on ahead to the next section you don’t have to use worms.
If, on the other hand, you’re still here, then worms are built to consume our food waste.
They consume the waste and turn it into nutrient-rich compost that gardens and crops love.
If you’re like to know how to build your own worm composter, check this guide at Mother Earth News.
This is a new form of composting which comes from Asia. It’s super-efficient and can be done in very small spaces.
Firstly, you pickle the food waste with bokashi bran (which is a fermented bran product). Then, you bury it for a while to allow it all to break down.
This excellent YouTube video explains exactly how to take on this as a project at home:
We should point out that it if you don’t get the mix of bokashi right, the smell can be a bit unpleasant but that’s a hint to get the mix right and can be quickly addressed.
Other Tips For Apartment Composting
We know, it sounds revolting to keep food waste hanging around the apartment waiting for drop off and pick up services.
And it would be revolting if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re going to freeze them until the time they are needed.
Frozen waste smells of nothing and doesn’t rot either. It’s safe and hygienic.
Check The Composting Rules For Pick Up And Delivery
Not all places will accept all food waste for composting.
It’s important to check the specific rules of what you can and can’t compost with a service.
Meat scraps for example, tend to be used best in commercial composting.
Whereas veggie and fruit scraps are ideal for home composting use – maybe there’s a friend around who’d appreciate them for their garden?
There are four methods above and while they’re not all ideal for everyone, the more you experiment, the more likely it is that you find one that works for you.
Composting is your chance to do the planet a favor.
Last Word in Our Apartment Composting Guide
Composting is easy, cheap and very much worth doing.
As you can see from our guide to apartment composting, there’s never an excuse not to compost.
Finally, if you like the idea of being an urban composter, maybe you fancy giving beekeeping a go too? If so, check out our guide to urban beekeeping here, if so.