community composting - wedge neighborhood in minneapolis
Zero Waste

5 Ways to Compost in an Apartment

Do you want to divert food waste from the landfill but don’t have the yard to start composting? You’re in luck! With a little creativity and a lot of enthusiasm, there are ways to compost even if you live in an apartment and don’t have access to an organics recycling program.

vermicomposting with solana center

Vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is easy to do and can be done indoors. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the browns you would need with traditional composting–all you need is newspaper scraps and food waste. Find a simple vermicomposting guide, take a class or go to your local garden supply store to get started. You’ll be diverting your food waste and learning the soil cycle before you know it.

community garden green media

Community Gardens. Community gardens are a great resource for the apartment dweller interested in zero waste. If you don’t have the yard space for growing your own veggies, herbs or flowers, community gardens offer the space at a low cost. Many have composting for their members too. Look for community gardens in your area and inquire about open garden beds and composting on site. Pro tip: start early–many community gardens are POPULAR and fill up fast.

Bokashi. If you’re not vegetarian, it can feel like you throw away a lot of food even if you had a traditional compost. Enter Bokashi. Bokashi is a fermented grain that enables you to compost not only fruit and veggie scraps, but also meat, dairy and even processed foods. You need Bokashi grains, an airtight container and a little patience. You also need access to a yard of sorts in order to bury it once it “ferments” for a couple weeks. Feel free to get as guerrilla as you want with the burying process because your food waste turns to finished compost in about two weeks.

community composting - wedge neighborhood in minneapolis

Community Composting Initiatives. Community composting is becoming a thing and many communities are doing what they can on the grassroots level to reduce food waste sent to the landfill and nourish local soil through locally produced compost. Check out what’s available in your community by asking a local gardening organization or by searching our list of community composting initiatives.

Compost Pickup Service. Many cities, like Boulder, Boston and San Diego, have compost companies who make it possible for residents to compost even if they don’t have the space. Do a simple web search in your area for compost pickup or check with a local garden supply store for leads.

All cities should have an organics recycling program. If you want to move your community toward composting initiatives, let your representatives know! Councilmembers and mayors around the country are already working toward zero waste goals and diverting organics is a huge part of this plan. Read up on what your city is working on and be vocal with what you’d like to see happen. You may even be the tipping point for it to come to your community.