How to compost at home with no backyard

How to Compost at Home with No Backyard

No Backyard? No Problem! A Guide to Composting at Home in Small Spaces

So, you want to start composting, but there's one small issue: you don't have a backyard. Does that mean you have to give up on your eco-friendly aspirations? Absolutely not! With a little creativity and the right techniques, composting is very much possible in apartments, condos, or any home without a backyard. This blog post is your guide to composting in small spaces.

Why Compost?

Before we dive in, let's quickly touch on why composting is so crucial. Composting organic waste like food scraps and yard debris not only reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills (and thus the amount of methane in the atmosphere), but also provides valuable, nutrient-rich soil for gardening. It's a win-win for you and the planet!

Indoor Composting Methods

While traditional composting methods might require an outdoor compost bin or pile, several indoor composting methods are perfect for people with limited outdoor space.

1. Worm Composting (Vermicomposting)

Worm composting, or vermicomposting, is a highly effective method of indoor composting. This method utilizes red wiggler worms to break down organic waste.

How to Get Started:

  • Buy or build a worm bin. These can be made from plastic storage containers with holes drilled for aeration.
  • Add bedding made from shredded newspaper or cardboard.
  • Add red wiggler worms and your organic waste.
  • Keep the bin in a dark, cool space like a basement or under the sink.

2. Bokashi Composting

Bokashi is a Japanese method of composting that uses a specific type of bran enriched with beneficial microbes to ferment kitchen waste.

How to Get Started:

  • Buy a Bokashi composting kit, which usually includes the Bokashi bran and a bucket with an airtight lid.
  • Layer your kitchen waste and Bokashi bran in the bucket.
  • Seal the bucket and let it ferment for about two weeks.

3. Electric Composters

Electric composters are an efficient but slightly more expensive option. These machines speed up the composting process by controlling temperature and aeration.

How to Get Started:

  • Purchase an electric composter and set it up according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Add your organic waste.
  • Turn it on and let the machine do the work.

4. At-Home Compost Pickup Service

Shameless plug here. Weekly pickup services like Dirt Cheap Compost (us!) are easy ways to remove all the work from composting – all you have to do is collect your food scraps in a separate bin in the kitchen during the day! Just like trash and recycling, we'll come by once a week and take care of the rest. (Learn more about our service!)

Best Practices for Indoor Composting

  1. Know What to Compost: Stick to fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, and small amounts of shredded paper. Avoid meat, dairy, and oily foods.
  2. Maintain the Right Balance: Your compost needs a good balance of greens (nitrogen-rich materials like food scraps) and browns (carbon-rich materials like paper).
  3. Aerate Regularly: Turn your compost to ensure adequate aeration, which is vital for the composting process.
  4. Manage Moisture: Your compost should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge. If it's too wet, add more browns. If it's too dry, add a bit of water.

Final Thoughts: Utilizing Your Compost

After your compost is ready, you can use it in various ways, even without a garden:

  • Houseplants: Use the compost as a soil conditioner for your houseplants.
  • Community Gardens: Donate your compost to a local community garden.
  • Friends and Family: Know someone who gardens? Offer your compost as a gift.

No backyard doesn't mean no composting. With the methods and tips outlined above, anyone can join the composting revolution, regardless of how much (or how little) space they have. Happy composting!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.