Easy Composting Solutions for Any Space
Globally, we produce 750 million tons of garbage each year. Garbage rotting in landfills causes greenhouse gases, including methane and toxic carbon dioxide emissions which has a huge effect on climate change. Garbage pollutes the land and water. We even have an enormous garbage patch floating in the ocean three times the size of France.
It's really easy to forget about our garbage because after we put it out on the curb for pick up, it's out of sight, out of mind. It's helpful to start looking at our own garbage on a day to day basis and what we can do in our personal lives to curb our waste. To help get into the habit of producing less waste, here are the 4 R's and 1 C - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost.
According to this article from University of Washington,
“Food waste in particular generates a significant amount of the greenhouse gas methane when it’s buried in landfills, but not so when composted. U.S. cities and counties that offer composting prevent otherwise trash-bound food scraps from decomposing in landfills and generating methane — and they get a significant carbon credit as a result.”
I have been composting for the past seven years. I have tried many ways of composting due to living in small apartments and now I own a compost tumbler. Here are a few options to help you compost no matter what space you live in.
If you live in Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, you can enroll in the Organics Collection Program by calling 3-1-1. They will collect food scraps and yard waste and turn it into rich organic compost or renewable energy. You'll receive a kit and a brown bin which you will fill up and they will pick it up on your garbage pick up day.
You can always drop off your compost at your local farmer's market and shop for groceries when you are done. Place your food scraps for the week in a bag or container in the freezer. That way you don't have rotting food sitting out and emitting gases in your home.
I tried a bokashi composting system a few years ago living in a small apartment. Bokashi is an anaerobic (without oxygen) process of composting by putting alternating layers of food scraps and bokashi. The process can take 7-10 days (which is really quick, provided that you stop adding food scraps and let it the magic happen). You can DIY your own bin (I made mine out of up-cycled bins with lids stacked on top of each other and I poked holes on the bottom of the bin one so that the liquids can drain into the lower bin) or you can buy a kit. This is great for those with small apartments. It will still have a smell but it is not as foul. You can add more bokashi to help with the smell.
I get really excited about worm poop! I tried worm composting indoors last winter and I was amazed at how much and how fast worms could eat. This compact worm compost bin has multiple layers to fill your food scraps in and the worms will work their way down. You can collect the worm castings and put it directly into your house plants or garden. Worms sold separately here.
If you have the space, get a compost bin tumbler. I have used this compost bin tumbler for three years now and it has done its job turning food scraps into compost that I use throughout the Eco-Urban garden. I like that this composter has two chambers so after I fill one side up, I can use the other side and the food scraps can continue to break down. After I fill it up, I close the lid and I turn the composter 10 times or so every day to help the break down process.
Which way of composting fits your lifestyle the best?