Yes, It’s Possible to Compost If You Live in an Apartment — Here’s How

We all know compost is fantastic for the earth — it returns nutrients from the trash to turf to the table. Yet many of us are concerned we don’t have space or it takes too much time in upkeep. Composting in a small apartment is possible and and can be fuss-free. Two important factors to consider when deciding to compost at home are how much organic matter you create in a week and where your compost could go. 

With these questions in mind, here are some options for composting in an apartment:

Blender Compost

This might sound completely whack, but it’s true that you could blend your organic trash, just as you do for your smoothies. 

Keep all the unwanted parts of your fruits and vegetables — peels, skin, root, stem, and old leaves in a ziplock bag. Try to cut up each piece so that it is small enough to be blended and add a little bit of water so that the mixture is smooth. This gooey mixture is ready to be added directly to the soil of your potted plants in small amounts.

Composting in a blender
Image: Getty

Remember you should be using a high-powered strong blade blender that can withstand the textures of different organic materials. 

Take about two tablespoons of the mixture and add to the soil and mix well such that the goop is not floating around the topsoil. In a few weeks, you should notice that the soil has absorbed this compost smoothie and there might be some traces of earthworms in your soil. This is a wonderful sign of healthy soil.  

Countertop Composters 

One of the simplest ways to start composting in an apartment is with a kitchen top composter. These come in varying sizes but usually are no larger than a biscuit tin to fit on your countertop. They are usually made from sturdy materials like stainless steel or bamboo so don’t risk any leakages. They are self-contained which means all you need to do is empty your organic material like egg shells, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds and so on into it and leave the device to do its magic.

The maintenance comes from manually cleaning the device once every few weeks and replacing the odour-removing components like charcoal once every six months. 

Scrap-Pooling With Neighbours 

If you live in an apartment, you’re bound to have neighbours. Go past the pleasantries, and ask how they are currently managing their food waste. If they’re not already doing so, you could pool together your scraps as a level or a building and bring them to the nearest community garden where there are usually big composting bins.  

City Council Compost Bins 

The Australian government intends to reduce food waste by half by 2030. In line with these ambitious goals, state territories and local governments have developed various initiatives to help combat food waste with composting. The council of Sydney is running a pilot project to collect and separate food scraps from residential properties. If you live in this state, you could check if your building in this list or write to get your building involved in this project. 

Neighbours coming together to compost
Image: Getty

The food scraps are delivered to Earth Power, Australia’s first food waste to an energy processing facility in Sydney. The facility uses anaerobic digestion technology to convert food scraps to electricity and nutrient-rich fertiliser. 

Similarly, in other cities like Brisbane, there are 28 different composting hubs and in Melbourne, composting drop-off points in the northern part of the city are organised by the respective states. 

With help from your neighbours, the city council, and possibly new friends, composting from an apartment couldn’t be easier. It may appear daunting at first, but the first step is to divide your food scraps into two groups: compostable and not compostable. This habit is the hardest part. Once you’re done with this, you’re off to the easy parts. May the compost composure be with you! 

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