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

A woman putting organic waste into a compost bin. Without regard to the living situation, composting is a straightforward and effective practice that can be adopted by all. Instead of letting organic waste decompose in landfills and release methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to generate nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Pause and think about which composting method best suits your current circumstances before getting started. A top priority among renters is adequate space and convenience. Luckily, a multitude of options are available for selection:

  • Outdoor compost bin: Think about purchasing a compost bin or tumbler if you have an outdoor area. An option that aligns with your aesthetic choices and functional needs is offered in various sizes and designs.
  • Indoor composting: Don’t have an outdoor space? No problem! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are suitable for apartment residents or those with limited outdoor space. They’re easy to clean, free of smell, and compact.

Find the Perfect Spot

Find a spot that receives partial sunlight and has proper drainage for outdoor containers. It should not be positioned in close proximity to water sources or against your house.

If you decide on indoor composting, look for a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. Factor in accessibility and ventilation to ensure your composting system stays healthy and odor-free.

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a mix of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper). Aim for roughly 1 part greens to 1 part browns to maintain 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 and will add to the formation of nutrient-rich soil for your plants by providing essential nutrients into your compost pile.

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 terrible odors, or introduce harmful bacteria into your compost pile. Recycling or regular trash collection are both viable options for their proper disposal.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Regularly turning your compost pile helps aerate it and speed up decomposition. Attempt to move your pile every week or two with a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: In a state between dehydrated and moist, your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge. If it’s overly dry, add water; if it’s overly wet, add additional browns to soak up the excess moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Limited outdoor space? Don’t worry! Indoor composting methods are designed for renters who like to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: One approach to composting indoors that is compact and free of odor is vermicomposting, which involves using worm bins. Add your food scraps to the bin and allow the worms to do their work. Additionally, worm castings are a good fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: A countertop composter is a sensible choice for people with limited space. These compact containers fit neatly on your kitchen counter and use aerobic composting to break down food scraps rapidly and effectively. 

With these indoor composting methods, renters can certainly incorporate composting into their regular practices and positively impact the environment – right from the comfort of their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Are you mindful that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Tenants may appreciate a more pleasant and environmentally sustainable residence if you promote composting at your rental property. Here are a few approaches composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: In houses with yards, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, promoting healthier plant growth and boosting landscaping aesthetics.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Diverting organic waste from landfills through composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: In multi-unit housing complexes, composting proposals can promote a sense of community among tenants and emphasize the property’s devotion to sustainability.

Congratulations, you’re now a composting pro! You have made substantial advancements in reducing waste, protecting the environment, and developing plant-friendly soil by following these easy steps outlined in this guide.

Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s the best method. So, what are you waiting for? Start transforming kitchen scraps into beneficial garden material right now by acquiring a compost container!


Ready to take the next step in your journey towards sustainable living? Call Real Property Management Teyata for all your rental demands. We deliver a diverse selection of rental properties in Whatcom County and its surrounding locations. Contact us today through our online platform or browse our available rental listings to discover your ideal place to live and start composting in your very own space!

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