balcony compost

Balcony Composting Is Easier Than You Think (3 Methods To Try Today!)

If you live in a high rise apartment and think there is no way to compost your kitchen waste, think again.

Balcony composting, or even composting indoors, is easy to do and does not require a lot of space.

Composting is great for apartment and condo dwellers because it reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills. It also benefits gardeners because the finished compost can be donated to those that can use it, and used to fertilize gardens, lawns or indoor plants. 

There are three main ways to easily start balcony composting. Read on to find out what they are and how to get started!

VERMICOMPOSTING ON A BALCONY

If the goal of your balcony compost is to be able to produce finished compost quickly, then using a vermicomposting system is your best bet!

Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to compost organic material. The worms eat the organic material and create a nutrient-rich compost that can be used for gardening and farming. If you want to get started with vermicomposting, you will need a few supplies: a worm bin, red wriggler worms, and of course, material to turn into compost.

Don’t be put off by the idea of having worms in your home or on your balcony. In a beautiful vermicomposter like the The Essential Living Composter, your worms can live in the middle of your living space, and guests won’t even know they’re there!

If you want to start vermicomposting, you can easily get started by purchasing worms for your new bin. You won’t want to simply go out and gather a bunch of worms outside in the dirt because they’re not likely to be the proper type of worm for your compost bin.

Red wigglers are one of the best kinds of earthworms for eating because they are very abundant and large relative to other kinds of worms. They also reproduce quickly so they will be able to provide you with many future generations of worms that you can eat!

The worms cannot survive very cold climates, however, so be sure to bring them inside if the temperature drops below 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Advantages:

  • Produces finished compost quickly
  • Odorless if properly cared for

Disadvantages:

  • Must provide care for worms
  • Can attract fruit flies and other pests

BOKASHI COMPOSTING ON YOUR BALCONY

Bokashi composting is a form of fermentation that takes place in a sealed bucket. It uses anaerobic bacteria to break down food waste and create a natural fertilizer for your garden or yard.

You’ll need at least two Bokashi buckets: one that you’re filling up with kitchen scraps, and another that will be left to sit for 7-10 days after it’s been filled in order to let the fermenting process complete.

Advantages of the Bokashi system:

  • Odorless
  • Convenient and can be done indoors
  • It’s safe to add meat, dairy, and bones

Disadvantages:

  • Requires purchasing the Bokashi bran semi-regularly
  • Does not produce finished compost (Bokashi can be donated or buried)
  • Must be kept air-tight

USE A COMPOST TUMBLER ON YOUR BALCONY

If you have a large balcony, you may be able to use a compost tumbler as well. With this method, you store compost materials in a closed bin that has a turning mechanism. The composter rotates until the compost is done.

Compost tumblers are great because you can create finished compost quickly, and the “mess” of decomposing kitchen scraps and other waste is hidden out of sight within the bin.

Advantages:

  • Produces finished compost quickly
  • Tidy and pleasing to the eye, usually no odor

Disadvantages

  • Tumblers take up a lot of space
  • Difficult to compost in the winter months

IF YOU CAN’T COMPOST

It’s totally possible to compost on a balcony or even indoors if you live in an apartment, but for whatever reason, you may not have the desire to keep up with the process.

If that’s the case, there are a couple of other options that you can take advantage of!

Sharewaste

Sharewaste is an app that helps you connect with avid composters who can accept donations from others nearby. The best part is that it’s completely free to use!

Simply download the app, type in your information, and see if there’s anyone nearby that you could give your kitchen scraps to.

Composting services

If you want to take a hands-off approach to composting, you could invest in a composting service to take your kitchen scraps off your hands. While not everyone may have one of these in their area, it’s certainly worth checking to see if you can pay someone to take care of your waste for you in a responsible manner.

With this option, you’ll still be able to avoid sending your scraps to the landfill, but without any of the hassle of composting yourself!

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR FINISHED BALCONY COMPOST

If you live in an apartment or condo, then you may not have a yard or garden in which to use your finished compost. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing!

There are many ways to find a home for compost that you’re not able to make use of.

  • Give it away: Store-bought fertilizer is quite expensive, so you may have friends or family who would be more than happy to take the compost off of your hands and use it in their own gardens.
  • Contact your city: Another option is to contact your local municipality and ask if they accept compost donations. If they do, they will likely have specific instructions on how to donate compost. You can also contact your local garden center or nursery and ask if they accept compost donations.
  • Sell your compost: homemade compost is a hot commodity, so you might have great success selling your compost on an online marketplace such as Facebook or Craigslist. Do a quick search and see if others in your area are doing this, and then give it a try yourself!

Balcony composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste your household produces each year, and it’s easy to do! By following these simple tips, you can start composting on your balcony today and enjoy the benefits of nutrient-rich soil either for your own plants or someone else’s!

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