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condo composting guide

The condo composting guide

October 4, 2019

You don’t need an outdoor space to compost. Turns out you can do it pretty much anywhere—including the inside of your apartment or condo.

And no, it won’t stink your place up, either. Here’s the thing: compost shouldn’t stink. Period. That is, if you’re putting the right stuff in. Meat, dairy, pet poop, citrus… these items are all compost no-nos.

Guess why?

They smell strongly. Especially when they’re biodegrading. A good, balanced compost mix smells fantastic. Seriously. Like spring, almost. And who doesn’t love the smell of spring?

Right now, only 22% of apartment dwellers compost. We can definitely do better than that. So read on to learn everything you need to know about condo composting.

Get your building composting

Before you start your own compost pile, get in touch with your building management team. Who knows, they might be open to outfitting your building with a tri-sorter chute, which accommodates organics. They might also welcome a community composting program.

Chances are, you’ll have to fly solo on this one, though. So props to you for making an effort to reduce your waste footprint.

Buy a composter

Thankfully, there are tons of home composting solutions out there. And they’re unobtrusive too, which is great if you’re starved for space.

  • Bokashi: The Bokashi composter produces nutrient-rich soil in just under two weeks. And you can toss meat and dairy in it without having to worry about foul odors. That’s because it comes with powerful microbes. Since the fermentation process is anaerobic, i.e. it doesn’t require air, it’s completely odorless.
  • The FoodCyclerThis baby’s electric and the price tag reflects that. That said, it makes composting extremely easy. Apparently, it turns your dinner into fertilizer in only three hours, so there’s that.
  • Any old bin: You can find electric units that accelerate the composting process for you, but you don’t need anything fancy—or expensive. Any old bin with a lid will do. Just be sure to give yourself a composting refresher before getting started. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, introduce some worms to your bin. These guys make a huge difference.

Compost pickup services

If condo composting doesn’t sound like something you’d be into, that’s okay. There’s another way to reduce your food waste. Compost pickup services are a thing. While they’re not everywhere—yet, many cities have them. Basically, you subscribe, they give you a bin, and they come and pick it up at the end of the week. Check Compost Now for a map of local options.

Remember, food waste is a big problem. Up to 40% of food is wasted, and most of that food ends up taking up valuable space in our landfills. It’s also responsible for 20% of our methane emissions. So any way you can address food waste is a step in the right direction.  

Also, feel free to check out our app. If your city’s partnered with us, we can help you waste less and recycle more—whether it’s composting your food or making sure those plastics get tossed in the right bin.

Have ideas you want to pitch or want to write for Recycle Coach? Email us at partnerships@recyclecoach.com.

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