How You Can Compost Your Scraps At Home — Even in an Apartment


It’s natural to feel somewhat powerless against big decision-making governing bodies in the face of the climate crisis, and ultimately, it is up to those in power to bring about change on a federal level.

But while we all continue to work towards encouraging this change by rallying and sending letters to our local MPs, we can make a difference in the areas we have control over. And it all starts at home.

There are many ways one can work to create a more sustainable household at home, and particularly in the kitchen. Using beeswax wraps in place of cling film and running the dishwasher less frequently and on the eco setting are two ways you could start making a difference today, as is starting your very own indoor or outdoor composting system.

In 2020, composting is not a concept for the ‘too-hard basket’ but rather a necessity to reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a greener earth.

Composting in a house

If you have a house with an outdoor area, head over to your local Bunnings and look into your composting options. Those with a large garden may consider a large standing bin, an in-ground composting bin or multi-tiered worm farm, while terrace households or courtyard homes may be better suited to a tumbling compost bin.

Spend time consulting with your hardware store helper for the composting solution best suited to your home, as this will be a long-term investment and one that will truly contribute to your household in a positive way.

Composting in an apartment

Apartment dwellers: you are not exempt. There are many ways the 75% of Sydneysiders in apartments can compost, too, even without a balcony or outdoor area. One idea is to petition for a compost bin with your building co-op to sit in a common green area. Another idea is to seek out a local community garden and donate green scraps there. Contact your local council to find out about community gardens in your area or chat to locals at weekend grower’s markets who may have more information for you.

My favourite means of composting indoors? The ShareWaste system. Since joining the free ShareWaste platform, I have donated oodles of delicious food scraps to a worm farm hiding in my neighbourhood that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.

To kick off my compost crusade, I purchased this chic Joseph Joseph food waste caddy for $44 and compostable bin liners, which are usually made from sugarcane or cornstarch.

From here, I swiftly began collecting my green scraps, popping things like teabags, coffee grounds, carrot tops, potato peelings, eggshells, corn husks, avocado skins and used paper towels in as I cooked. I was happy to discover you could even collect things like used match sticks and the fallen leaves from my indoor plants, of which I have 40 inside my house.

All about ShareWaste

The ShareWaste platform works like this. You either sign up to the platform as a donator who wishes to pass on vegetable scraps and food matter, or as an owner of a compost bin or worm farm. The map function alerts donators to composting neighbours in the local area, and using that platform, you can safely message each other to arrange a drop-off.

Hosts accepting scraps will let you know of the kinds of produce they will accept and inform you of any exceptions (those with worm farms may not accept citrus fruit scraps or corn cobs, for example).

You can donate to different hosts each time, or like me, you could even form a close bond with your composters and arrange a regular drop each week. Last week, my hosts gave me a huge basket of fresh, homegrown basil as a token of their appreciation, and now, thanks to our mutual efforts of saving the planet, I’ll be eating pesto pasta for lunch this week.

A step further

Lastly, talk to your friends about composting! It’s a great conversation-starter — no I’m serious. I engaged in four separate conversations about compost in the process of writing this story, and I’m sure to have many more chats in the future.

Tell your friends about your mission and encourage them to embark on their own composting crusade. Tell them about ShareWaste, encourage them to buy their own bin, and ask for their green scraps as a donation to your own bin. And now that you may have a bin yourself, register yourself on ShareWaste to accept scraps from others.

You’ll be surprised how much you’ll really save from landfill. Since I began composting in my apartment two years ago, I’ve drastically reduced the amount of trash I send to the bin, so much so, that the rubbish usually needs to go out from its smell before it’s ever even full.

Start today, and you’ll see a difference as early as tomorrow.

Read more stories from TheLatch— and follow us on Facebook.