Starting a compost pile is one of the simplest ways to go green. However, living in the city can make accomplishing this task a little challenging–you need a yard to make it worth it, right? Wrong! Easy composting is possible even if you live in an apartment. Your compost piles can be used to keep your potted plants healthy, fertilize your plot of land in the community garden, or help your landlord tend the bushes and plants outside of your building. Plus, it’s a great way to find another use for the food waste that you create. Check out our four-step guide for starting a compost pile:

1. Pick a Location

Because you don’t have a yard to work with, you can’t exactly leave your compost pile out in the open. Many people opt to keep their compost bins underneath the sink or in the closet so they are hidden from view. If your apartment has a balcony, that can be another great option.

2. Gather Materials

You’ll need some type of container in which to keep your compost, and this can vary from a plastic box to a garbage bin. The size of your compost bin will depend upon how many people live in your apartment–just make sure that whatever you choose can be covered. You’ll also need a tray that can fit under the container and catch any spills. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have some soil and newspaper on hand before you begin composting.

3. Prepare Your Bin

After punching holes in the base and sides of your composting bin, cover your tray with newspaper and place the bin on top. Sprinkle a three-inch layer of soil in the bottom, then cover it with dry bedding (this can consist of anything from newspaper to leaves or straw). Now you’re ready to start composting!

4. Start Composting

It’s easiest to add scraps of compostable food as you use them, but make sure you keep the amount of wet and dry things in your bin balanced by adding a handful of shredded newspaper each time you add new scraps. There’s an extensive amount of things you can compost (popcorn, matches, paper towels, potato peelings and egg shells are just a few)–do some quick investigating online if you’re unsure about something. Every week, stir the compost and add a small scoop of new soil. If the bin ever starts to smell, add some more newspaper to restore balance.


Are you thinking about starting a compost pile? Let us know how it goes!