I started composting several years ago while living in Houston. My mom gave me a tumbler composter for Christmas, and I quickly learned about reducing waste easily through composting. Before composting, we typically had a significant portion of our household waste sent straight to the landfill in the form of food scraps. Through composting, we’ve reduced our household waste with the added benefit of creating nutrient rich soil that our garden loves.
I’ve spent the past two years on the Tiny Yellow Bungalow blog sharing my passion for all things environmentally conscious. However, I was asked specifically about composting on a budget and in a small space for the first time this week. Fortunately, I have a yard for my tumbler composter. But what about apartment dwellers hoping to save their food scraps from the landfill??
Share your Scraps
As one of the simplest solutions for those living in apartments or condos, you can always share your compost with a friend or farmer! If you have a friend living close by with a compost bin, ask if they mind you dropping your scraps off at their place. In fact, even though Molly and I do not live together, she brings her compost to my bin regularly. Trust me, their plants will thank you. Additionally, farmers often happily take your compost.
DIY Compost Bin
Secondly, with limited space and a tight budget, I suggest creating your own DIY plastic container compost bin. Yes, they’re easy to make. No, they don’t cost a fortune to build.
- Plastic Storage Container w/ Lid (If you have an old storage container already at home that’s not in the best shape, you can upcycle it for this project! Otherwise, you can easily purchase a plastic container at your local home improvement store.)
- Drill + Drill Bits
- Soil (You can use dirt from your yard/garden. We had an extra bag of soil in the garage, so we used it for this project out of convenience)
- Drill holes all over the storage container: lid, bottom, and all sides. These holes provide the much needed air circulation for your compost.
* You may want to position your freshly made compost bin on a plastic tray or extra storage container lid for containment.
- Fill your bin with about four inches of soil.
- Now you’re ready to add your scraps. With small space composting, composting smaller scraps is most efficient. Be sure to cut up or shred your veggie and fruit scraps to allow them to decompose faster.
- Shake or stir your compost with every addition of scraps.
- For more specific details about what can and cannot be composted, check out Composting for Rookies on the Tiny Yellow Bungalow blog!
If you have the yard space and budget for a non-DIY composter, check out the tumbler composter I mentioned previously in the post. I’ve had mine several years now, and it works great. The tumbler system is very convenient. Rather than stirring your compost pile, you can simply give your bin a turn every few days.
There are also lots of other great composting choices out there. Here are just a few others to check out:
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