Want to do all you can do to reduce waste? Ever feel jealous of friends who own houses and composting bins? There’s a way to reach your waste-reduction goals and soothe your jealous heart: composting. And yes, it is possible to compost in an apartment. Follow these tips and you’ll be composting in your apartment in no time!

Text by Bo King

Plant waste in compost bucket.

What Is Composting?

Composting is a natural process that’s been around for as long as things have been growing. In a nutshell, you take organic waste and turn it into food for your garden. Key components in creating good compost are plant material, water and heat. The materials you use make a difference in the quality of your compost and how long it takes to make. Remember, not every biomaterial can be used to make compost. Avoid animal and milk products, including meat, bones, and fish skin.

Potted plant urban farming project.

Why Should I Compost?

There are plenty of reasons to compost your waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 30% of the trash we throw away each day is organic material that could be reused. Instead, it takes up space in landfills and contributes to greenhouse gasses. Good compost will also keep you from having to use pricey fertilizers. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow potted plants, fruits and vegetables in your apartment. Your neighbors might even help you start an urban farming project if there isn’t one in your area already.

Woman composting in her apartment.

Composting in Your Apartment

If your apartment has a patio, balcony or other outdoor space, you can use a sealed tumbler for aerobic composting. The tumbler’s turning handle help you easily mix the compost.

There’s also vermicomposting. Here, a bin holds both your scraps and a bunch of red worms to break it down. Keep it indoors so the worms aren’t killed off by the weather. Check out a variety of models here.

Finally, there’s Bokashi composting, which has been gaining popularity. It isn’t actually composting, but a fermentation process that gets materials ready to be added to an already-existing compost pile. Why do it? Because in the end, you can compost things like meat and dairy, which are usually composting no-no’s. Check out these Bokashi composters.

You can also find composters at Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s. Although their products tend to be geared more towards large spaces, they have some things that might work for you.