How to compost when you live in an apartment?

Composting in a condo or apartment, no matter how small, is totally doable! Don’t think you have to throw your food scraps in the trash just because you don’t have a yard. Composting is a super cool way to deal with kitchen leftovers, save space in the landfill, and create your own compost for indoor plants. Even small things like orange peels and coffee grounds, when trashed, contribute to climate change because they produce a powerful greenhouse gas called methane in landfills. But fear not! Even if we can’t avoid all kitchen waste, things like apple cores and banana peels can often be composted, keeping them out of the landfill. So, if you’re into reducing waste, composting is like the superhero in the zero-waste world! Read on to learn how to compost when you live in an apartment

What is compost?

Composting is the process of establishing an environment that allows particular bacteria, insects and fungi to flourish so that they can quickly decompose organic waste into finished compost. Practically every organic material food waste should be chopped into small, uniform bits. Avoid meat and dairy products because they take longer to degrade and may stink up the trash. Here are a few concepts.

  • Materials high in nitrogen:

    • Any vegetable will do but avert odoriferous onion and garlic
    • Grains, such as bread, rice that has been cooked or not, and pasta
    • Fruit—but not citrus (too acidic)
    • Ground coffee and tea bags
  • Carbon-rich substances:

    • Cleaned eggshells
    • Ashes from cannabis or untreated tobacco use
    • Newspaper, cardboard, or paper towels
    • Clothing made of cotton, wool, or silk, broken up into tiny bits
    • Human hair and pet hair

Uses of Composition

In essence, compost serves as free plant fertilizer. By supplying nutrients to the soil after your growing plants have used them up, it aids in maintaining soil health. If there isn’t a city-wide composting program where you live, you can produce your own compost and use it to fertilise your garden or potted plants, such as succulents, herbs or even veggies. If you’re a gardener, your compost system also provides a location for all the plant matter that you’ll gather from weeding and trimming your garden. According to studies, it can improve drainage, increase good bacteria, and draw earthworms. When your compost is ready, you can either use it immediately in your garden or keep it in a container and use it as needed for your plants.

Additionally, the composting process produces a lot of nutrient-rich liquid. This “compost tea” is frequently used to fertilize gardens and indoor plants.

Bin selection

You can compost in an apartment using various methods like a worm bin, Bokashi bucket, or electric composter. The simplest way to start is by creating a basic compost bin from plastic storage containers.

You don’t need a specific type of plastic container for composting, but it should have a cover. The process outlined on this page involves two containers of the same size. Determine the bin size based on your available space, considering that the compost system for your apartment or condo should be in a dark, comfortable area.

Choose a common location for an apartment composter, such as under the sink, or alternatively, use a utility or laundry closet.

The following are some of the top indoor composting options:

  • Power composter
  • Waste tumbler
  • Composter countertop
  • Standing compost bin
  • Worm bin
  • Fridge bin



  • The drill


Two containers made of plastic with secure closures

  • Newspaper or sawdust in pieces
  • Soil

 Step-by-step instructions

  • Create holes at the top

Drill a row of holes on each side of the top of one of the plastic containers. It’s not important how big the holes are but for this apartment-sized bin, they should be spaced roughly 1 to 3 inches apart. The airflow required for decomposition will be made possible by these small holes.

  • Create holes at the bottom

Drill holes into the bottom of the plastic container you just drilled ventilation holes into. Depending on the size of the bin, different numbers of holes should be punched but try to distribute them evenly throughout the entire bin. Liquid will be able to drain through these openings and into the second plastic bin. You can either discard the liquid, which is often referred to as compost tea or utilise it to nourish plants.

  • Fill using soil

Place the plastic container with holes inside the first container. A few inches of soil should be placed in the top bin before adding a layer of dry, absorbent material, such as sawdust or shredded newspaper.

  • Try to finish with absorbent material

It’s time to use your composter! Put organic trash in your composter’s top bin. You remove extra moisture and stop fungi and odours, be sure to cover it with newspaper or sawdust. After adding material, close the cover on your composter.

  • Periodically clean

The second liquid bin should be periodically emptied and cleaned to help avoid fungal growth and odors.

Things you shouldn’t compost

7 Items that should not be compost

  • Meat and milk products (While totally biodegradable, meat and dairy products might draw unwelcome pests to your yard or green bin).
  • Baked treats
  • Repaired sawdust
  • Extremely acid foods
  • Greasy food and oils
  • Human and pet waste

Choices for composting in apartments

Many apartment residents lack the space to bury the pickled material that results from the fermentation process, despite the fact that some people encourage apartment owners to compost their kitchen scraps using the Bokashi method (a fermentation-style composting method).

You still need another system to finish the job because Bokashi does not produce completed compost.  For most apartment residents, Bokashi composting is therefore difficult.

Tips on composting for apartments

Whatever kind of composter you choose, it’s a good idea to follow a few rules while adding scraps to the container’s inside. It is important to balance high-nitrogen vegetable and fruit scraps with carbon inputs in order to speed up decomposition and avoid odors.


Composting in an apartment requires some creativity! Take into account all of your options, including any drop-off locations, pick-up services or city-run initiatives as well as your own abilities and preferences. Composting allows you to reduce your environmental effect and offer your trash a second chance even if you have a small amount of room.

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