4 Methods for Composting in Your Apartment Kitchen

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Whether you’re trying to simply reduce food waste or you want to enrich the soil in your container garden, composting is easier than it seems. Even if you don’t have the space for a large backyard composter, you can still compost your vegetable peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, and more.

Here are four methods to make composting reasonable and effective for you even in a small apartment kitchen.

Countertop Composting

If limiting food scraps is your primary concern, then countertop composting is shockingly easy. All you have to do is get a bin and start piling in your scraps.

The only other step is to find a place that will collect your scraps and turn them into full-fledged compost. Many large cities have started adding this to their waste collection, but if that’s not the case in your town, check with community gardens or your local farmers market. There will likely be a place for you to drop off your food scraps and potentially get compost back.

When it comes to looking for a bin, there are lots of options out there. We recently reviewed the Full Circle Compost Collector.

Freezer Composting

Similar to countertop composting, freezer composting is best for cutting down on food waste, but won’t necessarily leave you with compost you can use in your garden or in your potted plants. The benefit of keeping compost in your freezer is you don’t have to worry about it attracting bugs, smelling bad, or taking up precious counter space. Plus, you can keep it in anything — I’ve been keeping mine in a vintage Tupperware, and when that fills up before drop-off day, we just use a plastic bag. It doesn’t matter what it looks like because it’s in the freezer.

Blender Composting

Ever heard of cold composting? If you’re an apartment dweller, but want to actually use your food scraps instead of handing them off to a community garden to be composted, this is an easy trick. You can actually use your blender to break down food scraps (skip the avocado pits, seeds, and anything too tough for your blender to tackle) into a slurry that will decompose faster.

Just remember that if you’re using this method to mix compost directly into your plants or yard, you’ll also want to add some shredded newspaper, stale bread, or sawdust to help balance everything out. Lifehacker has a good guide on getting started with cold composting.

Worm Composting

When you’re ready to get serious about indoor composting, that’s when you break out the worms. Adding worms to your compost setup basically replicates what would happen in your outdoor bin, or what happens if you bury your compost — but in a controlled environment. Obviously this isn’t something to tackle on a whim; you’ll want to do some research first. We recommend starting with this post from Apartment Therapy or this guide from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It might take a bit more time and space, but you’ll get the most compost to use in your garden with this system.