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Indoor Composting 101

Ah, compost. It may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but definitely is the finest amendment, conditioner and fertilizer you can possibly get your hands on. While many believe composting is a laborious task and requires a backyard to do so, we are here to tell you it can be much easier than you think! 

The biggest advantage of indoor composting is it allows you to do the process year-round, whereas outdoor composting requires a good amount of sunlight and waste degrades more slowly in the winter months. Indoor composting is also ideal for small-space dwellers as you can store the bins in a basement, in a closet or under the kitchen sink. 

The benefits of composting include:

  • Enriching soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant disease and pests.
  • Reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Encouraging the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
  • Reducing methane emissions from landfills and lowering your carbon footprint.

First things first, you are going to need a composting bin. Might we suggest the CompoKeeper? It is an innovative bin that eliminates all that stinks about indoor composting. If you're just looking to test the waters with indoor composting, you can always make one yourself.

 Photo courtesy of Rev-A-Buzz.com

Photo courtesy of Rev-A-Buzz.com

Once you have your bin, fill it with about 4" of dirt. Next, add a layer of dry stuff, including newspaper or leaves. Now you can begin to add your food scraps. This includes fruit/veggie scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, shredded paper, eggshells and trimmings from household plants. You should NOT put in meat, dairy or fats.

Additional Tips:

  1. Add a handful or two of newspaper or leaves every time you add food scraps or coffee grounds. This will keep it from getting too soggy, as well as provide carbon for your bin.
  2. Turn the contents of your bin often. This helps the bin warm up a bit and increase microbial action.
  3. The smaller the pieces you add to the bin, the faster they will decompose. Remember to chop food fairly small for quickest results, and shred your paper or tear it into thin strips.