Apartment Composting Tips

apartment composting

No matter where you live there has never been a better time than now to start your own composting program.

Even when you live in an apartment in the middle of a major city, you can still compost your kitchen scraps.

Here are some apartment composting tips to help you enjoy doing your part to help the planet by reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in the landfill.

Start with the Right Container

One of the most important apartment composting tips is to choose the right container.

With limited space it is wise to choose a small unit such as a compost pail. There are many different counter top models that are very affordable.

If you are worried about the smell of keeping an active compost pail in your kitchen, you will find there are many with built in charcoal filters.

The filters are replaceable and available online.

There are many different designs to choose from including metal and ceramic containers.

One thing to remember is that it is not really a good idea to use any old plastic container as it won’t keep in the odors and your entire apartment will end up smelling bad.

However, having said that if you are not sure about this whole composting thing, you can start off with a plastic container and get a proper compost pail if it looks like it will work for you.

kitchen composterGet prices for compost pails

Once you have selected your composting pail, it is time to decide what you can compost.

It is fairly widely known that you can compost fruit, veggies, grains and any food scraps that do not include meats, dairy products and seafood.

However, there are many more unusual things that you can put in your compost pail.
This includes scraps of paper that have been shredded, torn is fine and even leftover beer from last night’s party (in moderation, just like the beer at the party).

Is it just me or has ‘moderation” become one of the most popular words online – everything in moderation!

Add the contents of your vacuum cleaner, the wood shavings from your gerbil or hamster cage and even old books of matches.

Basically anything that is biodegradable and has a good chance of breaking down over time can go into the pail and become a part of your compost pile. YOu will learn by trila and error what will work and what won’t.

Remember the rule about not adding any meat or dairy products?

One exception to this rule of not including meat or dairy products is when using Bokashi, an anaerobic method of composting.

Bokashi is an anaerobic form of composting. Is this sounding too complicated? It isn’t really.

There’s some simple to follow information below about Bokashi composting.

Bokashi composting is really ideal for composting in an apartment.



Bokashi is a Japanese term that means fermentation of organic matter.

A Bokashi bucket has a filter and a tap on the outside of the bucket where Bokashi juice can be collected. A little added to water is an effective fertilizer.

When using a Bokashi bucket,  the scraps and yes, that does include meat and fish plus the usual composting materials, are placed into the bucket and covered with a layer of EM Bokashi.

EM stands for effective microorganisms which are in a carrier mixture, usually bran.  The micro organisms then go to work with the fermentation process.

The layering  process continues until the bucket is full. The airtight lid ensures an oxygen free environment for the fermentation to take place.

This form of composting is anaerobic. In approximately two weeks the result is a nutrient rich soil conditioner that can be used in the compost pile or put directly into the garden or veggie patch and mixed with potting mix for potted plants.

Bokashi is an ideal method of hastening the composting process for apartment dwellers.

Composting on the Road

Now give a thought to the increasing number of retirees and families leaving the rat race and taking off on the road trip of their dreams.

How does composting apply to them?

You may say, not at all but with a little forethought and organization it is entirely possible to use a compost pail.

It is also convenient to use a compost pail rather than having to trudge to find the communal rubbish bins in camping areas or caravan parks.

Lisa, husband David and five boys are off on the journey of a lifetime.

New Life on the Road chronicles their adventures as they negotiate a 40 year old  Bedford bus around Australia.

Composting with worms

composting wormWorm composting is an ideal method of composting for people living in apartments, units, villas, flats or anywhere for that matter.

It may take a bit of experimenting to work out the best location for the worm factory but  good places include a balcony or patio if there is some cover from the weather,  a laundry area if large enough could be perfect or maybe you have a storage area.

It is easy to move a worm factory which means that it is perfect for people who are on the move or renting and easy to move from place to place.

There’s a lot more information here about composting with worms.

So in a nutshell, composting or at least taking the steps towards composting in an apartment can include

  1. Kitchen pail or compost crock
  2. Worm composting
  3. Bokashi composting

If you are on the lookout for a kitchen composter there’s some information here about the things you need to consider before purchasing, for example, the size, the type of handle etc. Don’t make a mistake with your purchase, read the pros and cons here.



  1. Hello Composting Tips,

    This one is good – I so love the name “Lady”….a bus full of boys and I get to call her “Lady” !!! Every time another blog entry comes along and I fall in love with the name, not sure how I can ever give her one name :)
    Great tips on composting for apartment owners, and even for those on the road. We love our compost heap out the back and was wondering what we will be doing once on the road. Where can you get the composting containers from?
    Brilliant :)

    • Compost King says:

      Hi Lisa
      I’m glad you liked the name.
      The Bokashi buckets are readily available online. I have also seen them in shops that sells ECO products but as we are on opposite sides of the country, that is impractical, unless you make it across the country. I know that some local councils also have info on Bokashi buckets and may be able to give you the name of a local supplier.

  2. This is a great idea to give people tips on composting in an apartment. With lots of people living in apartments these days, I am sure this will be popular.
    I like the bus name as well, even Lucky Lady would suit her.

  3. Compost King says:

    I like it Jackie :)

  4. I like to compost until it gets so cold outside that any extra opening of the door seems wasteful. has several kinds of indoor compost pails that hold about a gallon of food scraps and coffee grounds and other compost-worthy items.

  5. Hi Lisa, I stumbled across your website and originally thought that composting wouldn’t really work for me because I live in an apartment and I thought it would be too hard. Moments before I left your site though I saw that you had an article on “apartment composting tips” and it couldn’t have been more perfect advice for what I need. So thank you for this article. Your composting tips will really help.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Just thought I’d stop by and say I implemented some of your apartment composting tips and they have been great!! Thanks :)

    • Compost King says:

      Hi Jaimee
      That is brilliant. Glad to know the information has been of some help. Thank you for letting me know.

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