Home Composting for Beginners: Your Apartment Composting Guide

Apartment composting guide

Composting is a great way to reduce environmental impact and help the planet.

You can compost in your apartment if you have a small spot for a compost bin. Home composting is easy, and it’s a great way to reduce your waste (For example: can you compost bread? Read about it here) (For example: can you compost bread? Read about it here).

Plus, it’s perfect for your plants! Compost provides nutrients that help plants grow, and it helps to improve the quality of the soil.

So, composting is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to help the environment and reduce waste. This guide will teach you everything you need to start small-scale composting in your home.

Why You Need To Start Home Composting?

Composting is an ideal way to reduce household food waste and has many other benefits.

For those unfamiliar with the term, composting simply breaks down organic matter – such as food scraps and fallen leaves – into a rich, nutrient-dense soil amendment. If you aren’t composting at home already, now is the time to start!

This process happens naturally, but it can be accelerated by adding the right mix of green and brown matter to your compost pile and ensuring that it has enough oxygen.

The benefits of home composting are many. Perhaps most importantly, it helps to reduce our reliance on synthetic fertilizers and other soil amendments that have a harmful environmental impact.
Composting also helps to sequester carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change – making it an essential tool in the fight against global warming.
According to the EPA, composting helps divert more than 25 million tons of material from landfills yearly. Not only does this prevent these materials from taking up space in our landfills, but it also reduces methane emissions.

And, of course, it’s a great way to save money on gardening supplies!
So what are you waiting for? Start composting today!

How Does Home Composting Work and How To Start Home Composting in a Small Apartment?

Composting is a great way to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich soil. It also helps reduce the amount of trash being sent to landfills. In order to start composting, all you need is a container, worms, and a source of food scraps. Worms eat the food scraps and turn them into fertilizer.

It may seem like a daunting task to start home composting in a small apartment, but there are many ways to do so without having to spend a fortune. Here are three tips to help you get started:

1. If you are new to home composting, consider buying a starter kit with all the necessary equipment you need, it will make your start-up process much faster and eliminate lots of unnecessary research;

2. Find a spot to place your bin that is away from big changes in temperatures and not exposed to sunlight. A great spot to consider is under the kitchen sink, which is also very handy to collect your food scraps.

3. In order to start composting in a small apartment, you need to first determine how much food waste you produce. This is important because if you don’t know how much food waste you generate, then you won’t know how much compost material you’ll need to purchase. Once you’ve determined how much food waste you create, you can begin composting.

Common Misconceptions About Ccomposting

There is so much information about composting that you can find online, here are some common misconceptions about apartment or small space composting:

  • Composting does not require large spaces or outdoors – You can compost in any area, including small apartments.
  • Compost bins do not smell – If your compost heap is well-aerated, it will not have an unpleasant odour. Adding worms to your bin will also help reduce smells because they aerate the compost as they consume organic matter.
  • Composting is not tricky – With a little effort, anyone can compost. Simply add organic matter to your bin and stir it occasionally.

Where To Place Home Compost Bin

The best place for your composting bin is in the kitchen. This is because most of the organic waste you’ll be composting will come from the kitchen. If you don’t have space in your kitchen, you can put the bin on a balcony or in a garage.

How Many Composting Worms Do You Need?

Mary Appelhof, author of “Worms Eat My Garbage” recommends two pounds of worms — about 2,000 wigglers — for every pound per day of food waste. To understand how much food waste is generated by your household, monitor it for a week and divide it by seven.

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Things You Need To Do Indoor Home Composting

Indoor composting is probably your best option if you live in an apartment, condo, or small living space. You have a few different options for indoor composting, and which one you choose will depend on your space and needs.

1. Materials and compost bin – The first thing you need for indoor composting is a bin. You can buy a specialty compost bin or use any type of container with a lid. Bokashi bins are an excellent option for small spaces because they don’t take up much room and they don’t produce any bad smells.

2. Compost starter kits – If you’re new to composting, you may want to buy a starter kit. These kits contain everything you need to get started, including a bin, bedding material, and instructions.

3. Compost bins do not attract animals – Choosing the correct type of bin and keeping it covered will prevent animals from getting into your compost.

How Much Does Home Composting Cost?​

Home composters can save money by reducing food waste and creating nutrient-rich soil for gardens. But they also require time and effort to set up and maintain. 

Depending on how much space you have available and which type of compost bin you chose, you may need to invest anywhere from $100 to $500 to start composting.

After the initial start-up cost, home composting is free if you use organic material like food scraps, yard trimmings, leaves and grass clippings. It costs about $10 per cubic yard to buy commercial compost.

How Long Does Home Composting Take, And How To Use It Around The House?

The composting process will take a different amount of time depending on the size and type of bin you use, with some bins finishing the process in as little as six to eight weeks. Here are a few ways you can put your home-made compost to use:

  • Fertilize House Plants – Compost makes an excellent fertilizer for houseplants. Simply mix a handful of compost into the potting soil when repotting a plant and watch it thrive.
  • Start a Veggie Patch – If you have a balcony, you can use your compost to start a small vegetable garden. Simply mix the compost into potting soil and plant your seeds.
  • Donate – If you don’t use compost, you can donate it to a community garden or local farmers’ market. This is a great way to reduce waste and help out your community.
Apartment composting guide - home composting in a small indoor space

50 Things You Can Compost in Your House

Now, I am sure you are wondering what can you actually compost around your house other than food. We have made a list of things that we suspect most people have in their households and don’t realize that they are actually compostable:

Compost From The Kitchen

1. Coffee grounds
2. Unbleached coffee filters
3. Unbleached Teabags
4. Eggshells
5. Fruit and vegetable scraps
6. Nutshells
7. Bread
8. Vegetables (avoid onions and garlic)
9. Fruit (avoid nectarines)
10. Rice
11. Yoghourt
12. Cardboard food boxes
13. Chopped-up wine corks
14. Used paper napkins
15. Non-waxy cupcake and muffin wrappers
16. Wooden toothpicks and bamboo chopsticks
17. Herbs and spices
18. Expired food items such as jams, jellies, and peanut butter
19. Expired beer, wine, and liquor
20. Old pasta and tomato sauce
21. Paper cups without the wax lining
22. Parchment paper
23. Spoiled plant milk such as almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk
24. Tofu
25. Salad scraps
26. Beans and other legumes
27. Brown paper shopping bags
28. Paper towels that do not have bleach or pattern
29. Cardboard egg containers
30. Paper lunch bags

Compost From The Bathroom

31. Shredded eco-friendly toilet rolls
32. Fingernail clippings
33. Human hair and electric razor trimmings
34. Cardboard packaging
35. Facial tissues without makeup
36. Cotton Swabs
37. Cotton balls

Compost From The Home Office

38. Newspaper- Before composting paper items, ensure to tear or shred them
39. Bills, ordinary junk mail, and other non-glossy paper items and cards
40. Non-glossary magazine subscription cards
41. Paper envelopes – remove the plastic film address window
42. Cardboard boxes
43. Sticky notes
44. Pencil shavings

Compost From The Living Room

45. Shredded wrapping paper
46. Gift cards – make sure to cut up or shred gift cards before composting to avoid identity theft
47. Pizza boxes- greasy pizza boxes cannot be recycled but can be composted
48. Popcorn kernels
49. Candle wax- make sure the candle is made of natural materials like beeswax or soy wax
50. Dryer lint- ensure lint is completely dry before composting to avoid mold

What You Can Do if You Can’t Start Your Own Home Composting

Not everyone has the space to start their composting system at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to live a waste-free lifestyle.

There are plenty of options for those who want to do their part for the environment. 

Many local governments offer composting programs allowing residents to drop off food waste. Community gardens are another great way to compost without taking up space at home and they are becoming increasingly popular in urban centres.

And if you’re committed to going zero waste, apps such as Sharewaste can connect you with composting farms in your area. 

No matter your situation, there’s no excuse not to compost!

How Much Does Home Composting Help the Environment?

Home composting is the perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

According to the EPA, food waste accounts for about 21% of landfill waste. Methane gas is released when food decomposes in landfills, which is a potent greenhouse gas. By composting your food waste at home, you can keep it out of landfills and prevent methane gas from being exposed to the atmosphere. 

In addition, composting can help your garden or potted plants by providing them with nutrient-rich soil. This will reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, which can harm the environment. So, not only is home composting good for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run.

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