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

A woman putting organic waste into a compost bin. Anybody can start composting, irrespective of their lifestyle, as it is an easy and effective practice. Rather than letting organic waste decompose in landfills and discharge methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to produce nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Prior to getting started, decide which composting method corresponds most to your living situation. Renters often give priority to space and convenience. Happily, there are several options to choose from:

  • Outdoor compost bin: Acquiring a compost bin or tumbler is a valuable investment if you have outdoor space available. You can choose one that fits your needs and preferences, as they come in a variety of sizes and styles.
  • Indoor composting: Don’t have a backyard? Don’t worry! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are suitable for apartment residents or those with limited outdoor space. They’re small, don’t generate any smell, and require minimal upkeep.

Find the Perfect Spot

For outdoor bins, select a spot that receives partial sunlight and has proper drainage. Avoid placing it near sensitive areas like water sources or directly against your house.

If you choose indoor composting, find a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. Contemplate accessibility and ventilation to ensure your composting system stays healthy and odorless.

Gather Your Materials

A combination of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper) is essential. A balanced compost pile should have about 1 part green and 1 part brown.

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 enhance your compost pile with vital nutrients, promoting the growth of plants in nutrient-rich soil.

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, emit foul scents, or introduce harmful organisms into your compost pile. It’s preferable to dispose of them by alternative methods, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: To promote ventilation and speed up decomposition, turning your compost pile on a regular basis is recommended. Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn your pile once or twice a week.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge, avoiding being too dry or wet. To adjust dryness, add water; to address wetness, add more browns to soak up the excess moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Not enough outside space? Don’t worry! Indoor composting methods are perfect for renters who want to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Worm bins are a compact and smell-free method of indoor composting, often known as vermicomposting or composting with worms. Add your food scraps to the bin and allow the worms to decompose them. Work castings can also serve as an excellent fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: If you have limited space, a countertop composter is a perfect option. Use aerobic composting; these compact bins effectively and neatly tuck food scraps under your kitchen counter. 

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

Benefits for Rental Properties

Are you mindful of how composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Tenants will love living in a more eco-friendly and desirable setting if you allow composting at your rental property. Here are some methods composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: In properties with yards, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, fostering healthier plant growth and enhancing 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: In multi-unit housing complexes, composting initiatives can foster a sense of community among tenants and demonstrate the property’s commitment to sustainability.

You’ve become a pro composter; congratulations! You have significantly advanced in reducing waste, enhancing the environment, and enriching your plants’ soil by following the simple methods outlined in this tutorial.

Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s an effective approach. So, what are you waiting for? Get your compost container and start converting kitchen scraps into gold for your garden right now!


Are you ready to advance in your pursuit of sustainable living? Talk to Real Property Management Capital Region for all your rental needs. We provide a wide range of rental properties in the Glens Falls area as well as neighboring areas. Contact us immediately via our online platform or browse our available rental listings to discover the perfect place to live and start composting in your very own space!

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