How to Compost When you Don’t Have the Room or Resources

Since Malcolm and I moved into this house, we have nurtured a compost pile in our backyard. This had been my dream for years because I always felt so guilty throwing away food scraps that can be reused for providing nutrients to soil. When I lived in apartments or houses without room for a compost pile in the garden, I couldn’t wait to return the fruit, vegetables, etc. to the earth by composting. Little did I know there are companies who will pick up your compost curbside for a usually reasonable fee. Some are even free. I wish I had know about this years ago!

Curbside Composting

Click here to access a list of compost pick up businesses divided by region. Most states are included are Puerto Rico, British Columbia, and Quebec. With this service, all you will have to do is get a container with air holes, and load up that baby with: egg shells, cardboard, leaves, branches, leftover fruit and veggie cuttings, dead plants that aren’t diseased, nuts, compostable bags/plasticware, paper, coffee grinds, coffee filters, tea bags, cooked plain rice or pasta, dried herbs and spices that have lost their flavor, brown paper shopping bags, and the list goes on. It’s great for fruits and veggies you may have forgotten were in your fridge or pantry that are now mushy or wrinkly.

Do not include: pet feces (will make the compost toxic), meat and bones, or any dairy. For more ideas of what to compost, you can Google it. There are endless articles and blog posts on this topic. Some argue that meat can be composted, but the general consensus of what I’ve ready states one should not add it. We do not compost meat as it would attract animals. We live in Colorado, so we don’t need to entice more wildlife than we already have roaming around dodging cars.

You will want to check what your company of choice will accept and what they won’t take.

Storage for Curbside Composting

During the winter, I do not make it out to the compost bin as often as I do on warmer days. We use all kinds of containers, whatever we have on hand. Some use a garbage can under the sink. We had a cactus canister on our kitchen counter for the longest time, until it broke when I was cleaning it. We’ve used bread bags from loaves we’ve finished, a glass container without a lid, a plastic container we got with our grated parmesan with holes poked in the lid. It doesn’t take long for the aromas of breaking down to become unpleasant, but the holes help with that. If you don’t use holes, you will wind up with a mess of green slop. We tried that for a while, but the slimy, drippy decay grossed me out too much when I was handling it.

Of course, there’s always the option of buying a compost bin from Amazon (if you fancy copper) or (if you want something more durable). Malcolm and I are too DIY-ish to cut the check on the compost bin, but it might be a perfect solution for you.

Do you have any composting tips? Leave a comment below as I’d love to learn from you.



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