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How Renters Can Go Green: A Beginner’s Guide to Composting

A woman putting organic waste into a compost bin. Composting is an easy and useful habit that is accessible to everyone, no matter their living situation. As opposed to letting organic waste decompose in landfills and discharge methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to make nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Before commencing, take a moment to determine which composting method will be most suitable for your living situation. Space and convenience are often the most essential factors to renters. The good news is that there are numerous options available:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you can access outdoor space, consider purchasing a compost bin or tumbler. Various sizes and varieties are available, allowing you to choose one that suits your needs and aesthetic preferences.
  • Indoor composting: No backyard available? No problem! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are ideal for people who live in apartments or those with limited outdoor space. They’re compact, don’t smell, and are easy to maintain.

Find the Perfect Spot

Select a spot that receives partial sunlight and has appropriate drainage for outdoor bins. Avoid placing it directly next to your residence or near vulnerable places such as water supplies.

If you choose indoor composting, seek a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. To ensure your composting system stays healthy and odorless, think about accessibility and ventilation.

Gather Your Materials

“Greens” (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper) are what you’ll need. Aim for around 1 part greens to 1 part browns to keep a balanced compost pile.

What Can and Cannot Be Composted

Compostable Materials: Yes, Please!

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Eggshells
  • Yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, etc.)
  • Shredded paper or cardboard (in moderation)

These materials will break down over time, supplying vital nutrients to your compost pile and aiding in creating nutrient-rich soil for your plants.

Non-Compostable Materials: Keep Out!

  • Meat and dairy products
  • Greasy or oily foods
  • Pet waste
  • Diseased plants or weeds
  • Plastic or metal

These items can attract pests, produce bad smells, or bring in pathogens that are harmful to your compost pile. It’s advisable to get rid of them through methods like recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Frequently turning your compost pile helps aerate it and speed up decomposition. Try to turn your pile every week or two using a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge – not too dry or wet. If it’s too dry, add water; if it’s too wet, add more browns to soak up the excess moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Insufficient outdoor space? Not a problem! Renters looking to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience should utilize indoor composting methods.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is an easy way to compost inside that doesn’t make a bad smell. Add your food scraps to the bin and let the worms do the rest. Worm castings are also a perfect fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: If you don’t have a spacious room, countertop composters are a perfect choice. You can put these compact bins on your kitchen counter and use aerobic composting to break down food scraps rapidly and easily.

With these indoor composting methods, renters are able to incorporate composting into their everyday routines and positively impact the environment – right from the comfort of their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Are you aware that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Supporting composting at your rental property can improve the living environment for your tenants and benefit the surrounding environment. Here are some ways composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: For homes with yards, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, supporting healthier plant growth and developing landscaping aesthetics.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties by diverting organic waste from landfills.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: Composting projects in apartment buildings with multiple units can promote a sense of community among tenants and demonstrate that the property is committed to sustainability.

Congratulations, you’re now a composting pro! By adhering to the straightforward recommendations in these guidelines, you’ve already made a significant contribution to reducing waste, nourishing the environment, and promoting healthier soil for your plants.

Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s always a perfect method. How long are you going to wait? Begin converting kitchen scraps into valuable compost for your garden by using your compost bin now!


Are you prepared for the next stage in pursuing environmentally responsible living? Get in touch with Real Property Management Your Home for all your rental needs. We deliver a diverse selection of rental properties in and around the Hixson area. Contact us immediately through our web platform or browse our available rental listings to identify the perfect home and begin composting in your very own space!

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