How to Compost in an Apartment - even when you don't have a balcony!

You know I LOVE composting. Composting is a great way for us to fight climate change because landfills are surprisingly high in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Landfills currently make up 16% of all methane emissions released in the US, and methane is 30x more powerful the CO2. 

How to Compost in an Apartment #compost #ecofriendly #zerowaste

Landfills release a lot of methane because they're filled with organic matter. This is stuff like paper, food scraps, and things that would otherwise breakdown in a composting environment.

Many people think that organics will breakdown in a landfill, but they won't! That's because landfills aren't aerated properly for decomposition. 

So, composting is really important. While it might seem difficult to compost when you don't have a backyard or outdoor space, it's certainly not impossible! 

 Here's how you can be an eco-warrior embracing that #CompostLife. 


When it comes to composting, it’s important to keep a good mix of carbon and nitrogen.

Carbon is paper, cardboard, newspaper, dry leaves, etc.

Since, shredded paper can't be recycled, it's a great addition to keep your compost balanced! For more information and recycling, tips be sure to check out this post How to Recycle Paper the Right Way!

Nitrogen is your food scraps think coffee grounds, tea leaves, potato peels, and peach pits.

Ideally, you want to aim to keep your compost around 50% carbon and 50% nitrogen.

worm bin:

worm bin is one of the most common indoor composting setups.

It involves - you guessed it - worms! Red wigglers AKA the composting worm can be bought at your local bait shop. 

Worms like to be kept around room temperature, so they're the perfect indoor pet that happen to like eating your food scraps. Just don't add dairy, meat, or citrus peels. 

There are several tutorials online where you can make your own compost bin or you can buy one. I had a worm bin 360 that I really liked! But, unfortunately, I had to keep my worm bin outside and sent 1,000 worms to worm heaven.

*May they rest in peace* 


Now, this is an apartment dwellers dream - the bokashi bin. It's almost too good to be true, it's so easy.

You don't have to worry about balancing the nitrogen and carbon. You can just add food scraps, and the activator mix takes care of the rest!

It's a giant bucket to which you add all of your food scraps. (meat and dairy can be added too) Mash it all down, and then add in an activator mix which is full of microbes which hastens the process of decomposition. 

According to the website, you should have compost in about 4 weeks. You just have to find someone to share it with, and thankfully there's an app for that! Check out ShareWaste.

electronic composting:

Yep, they actually make electronic composters that will turn your food scraps into compost overnight! How cool is that?

If you want something that is no fuss and instant check out the foodcycler.

farmers market:

Most farmers at the farmers market have large compost piles where they store They the odds and ends of fruit and veg that people don't want like carrot tops or radish tops (even though you should 100% be eating those things and check out my post on 8 Innovative ideas to Cook with those Food Scraps) to take back to the farm and compost. 

Ask one of the farmers if you can bring your scraps to add to their pile.

community garden:

Community gardens have big compost piles! See if you can join the local community garden and add your food scraps.

Who knows, you might make some new friends and collect some delicious produce in the process. 

city-wide service:

Check to see if your city offers composting or if there's a business in town that collects food scraps.

A business like Compost Now will drop a bucket at your door for you to fill with compost and in a week or two they'll pick it up and drop off another bucket. Services like this tend to cost around $20 a month. 

ask around:

Got neighbors or friends with chickens? Have a friend with a backyard or composting service?  

There are so many ways to plug into groups and find people with the internet today. If you're trying to compost, I'm sure there's someone in your area that has chickens, a composter, or a large garden check out the app ShareWaste.