Compost for Dummies

Composting can be tricky! Believe me, I know. I live in a duplex and have VERY limited space both in and outside the house. Some people don’t like the smell, others think it’s just too time consuming. So I’ve done a little bit of research to find solutions for these problems and make composting practical for everyone!

What is considered “compostable”?

It’s more than you think. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list I got from Blue Bag Organics:

  • Pretty much any type of food
  • Yard waste
  • Meat/poultry bones
  • Paper cups, plates, towels, and napkins
  • Wax paper/ Parchment paper
  • Wax-coated paperboard packaging and containers
  • Eggs and nutshells
  • Fruit stones
  • Takeout and to-go containers (no Styrofoam or metal handles)
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Pizza boxes
  • Tea leaves and tea bags (remove staple)
  • Butter and margarine wrappers

Small Space Solutions

  • Worm Bins: Apartment Therapy has a how-to for making a small, indoor worm bin. These critters take your coffee grinds and food scraps and turn it into fertilizer for the garden! It’s cheap to start up and it beats paying for fertilizer at the store.
  • Basic compost circles: If you have any patio or lawn area at all, you can simply buy a few yards of chicken wire and some wood or metal stakes and make a cylinder to put your compost in. Very inexpensive start up, but can be stinky.
  • Under the sink bins: Keep a small closed bucket in the kitchen for food scraps to be taken to a larger compost outside. It makes it super convenient and easy to remember to compost.

Solutions for the Smell

  • Bokashi Composting Kits: These containers are amazing. Very small, odorless, and able to be used indoors, this is composting for the truly lazy (like me!). The kit comes with everything you need to get started, and you’re guaranteed to have compost in 2 weeks. Slightly pricey, it costs just under $55 plus shipping.
  • Placement is everything! If you’ve got some space, build a larger composting area, but do it away from your house and your neighbors to avoid unwanted odors and unwanted vermin attracted to these odors!

My research has shown that the hard part, like most things, is getting started. Once you start, you will be hooked! You will put less trash out on the curb each week, and end up with nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer for your garden. Talk about win-win! If you have other ideas for making composting accessible and doable, please share them by commenting below!


3 thoughts on “Compost for Dummies

  1. I would highly suggest to anyone interested in composting to read the Humanure Handbook. It looks into the science behind good compost and explains it all from the most difficult form of all composting; composting human waste. It’s great for anyone interested in composting anything, though!

  2. Pingback: Composting ~ Project 1 of Journey to a Greener Life! | Happy Suburban Chick

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