When I was growing up, my family compost pile was a mound of stinking black earth decorated with vegetable peelings, nutshells, and denuded, forgotten apple cores. Teeming with worms and other wriggling digesters, the pile took six months or more to transform our jettisoned detritus into the fragrant loam my mother would later scatter at the base of her peonies.
The pile was not something that could ever work in an apartment.
But not all composts are created equally, and if you have ever rejected composting because of a less-than-spacious abode, think again. Today’s composters are streamlined and odor-free, offering options to accommodate even the smallest of apartments. Is it time for you to get on the composting bandwagon?
The Benefits of Composting
While you may not have peonies demanding a steady diet of nutrient-rich fertilizer, composting has other benefits. Not only can apartment dwellers use that black gold to feed house plants and patio containers, you can also reduce household waste and save yourself a trip to the dumpster.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is the biggest ingredient in American trash. Currently more than 35% of the average garbage can is filled with kitchen scraps—scraps that could be diverted from the landfill altogether.
And diverting those scraps is important. When tossed into landfills, organic waste generates methane gas, something that doesn’t happen when you compost. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas that increases the rate of global climate change. In fact, municipalities like Seattle, San Franciso, and New York City operate curbside collection and composting programs and get a carbon credit for their efforts. Despite this, about 95% of food scraps in the US are still thrown away.
To help reduce emissions and divert your share of organic waste, apartment composting is the answer. Luckily, there are several great ways to compost in an apartment. The type you choose will depend on your situation.
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