So you want to compost, but you live in an apartment. Don't fret, there are things you can still do. Apartment composting can be done with a traditional compost bin as many are compact and can fit on an apartment patio or balcony.
First, do you have a patio or balcony?
If you are lucky enough to have a patio or balcony, then you probably have room for plants. Unfortunately I only have room for one Gardenia. Since I don't have any indoor plants, yet, I'm still doing my research on what to get for the best helpers in keeping my air healthy and clean.
So you have plants and you want to give them the benefits of rich soil by means of composting. Good for you, use that food wastage and make it work for the planet. Depending on the size of your patio or balcony, you might have room for an outdoor version compost pile.
Dual-Batch Compost Tumbler
The Dual-Batch Compost Tumbler is one option and will cost you $169, but check out their sales prices. It features two rotating bins so you can let one side "cook" while filling the other up.
DIY Compost Bin
If you don't have the money for something like this, you can make your own. eHow has an article, How to Make a Compost Bin From a Garbage Can. It uses a recycled garbage, bricks, garden hoses, and old newspapers.
Luxury: NatureMill PRO XE
What if you don't have a balcony or patio, or even if you do it's simply not large enough. If this describes your situation, there are options for indoor composting bins.
Below is the PRO XE Mill by NatureMill. For $450 it's definitely a luxury. The NatureMill PRO XE is fully automatic and odor free.
Compost is ready every 2 weeks, and the best thing is you can add food waste any time, any day. Waste items are processed continuously, mixed every 4 hours. It's small enough to fit under some lower cabinets, or just place it on the floor in your kitchen. Talk about an easy way to start composting, and it's a composting luxury small enough for apartment living.
Worm Bin Composting
Apartment Composting Tips
You're ready to start composting, here's a few tips. If you don't have the indoor composter to do your composting for you automatically, you might want to have two containers to hold your compost materials. That way when the first one is full and processing, you can start filling up the second one.
You'll also want to pick up a compost keeper or compost pail to stay on the kitchen counter. Target sells a Stainless Steel Compost Keeper for $59.99 and the Ceramic Compost Pail is sold by Williams-Sonoma for only $32.00.
These countertop canisters will collect the food scraps that you will later transfer to your outdoor composter or home made composter. Look for ones that are equipped with a charcoal filter to absorb the food odors. You want it to work well, but not have to smell the process. If it stinks, something's wrong.
What should be put in the compost?
Here is a list from the Environment Protection Agency of what is acceptable to put in your composter:
Grass clippings, Leaves, Straw, and hay, Wood chips, Sawdust, Teabags, Fruit and Vegetable Scraps, Coffee grounds and Paper Filters, Egg shells, Vacuum Cleaner, Lint Hair Clippings, Shredded Newspaper, Fireplace Ashes, Wool and Cotton Rags
Here is a list of What not to throw in your composter:
Diseased Plants, Pernicious Weeds, Human and Pet Wastes, Chemically Treated Wood, Barbeque Grill Ash, Meat and Fish Scraps, and Bones Oils and Other Fatty Food Products, Milk Products
What Not to Put In Your Composter, Climate Warming Watch
In the beginning it's best to use uncooked fruit and vegetables. Avoid meat, fish, dairy, or oils. After you feel comfortable with composting and have a little more knowledge, you can decide what to include yourself.
The meat and fish scraps, milk and fatty foods are suggested to be avoided because of their attraction to rats and other pests, who might be carrying diseases. They will, however, break down in a food composter eventually.
I hope this helps you on your way to composting. And don't let apartment living stop you, as shown above there are ways to get around the lack of space. You might want to watch this video for more information. Just for your knowledge, Vermicompost refers to worm composting.