Wailin’ Wednesday: How to Compost in Your Apartment
It’s officially fall, and with the turning of the weather comes the harvest! There are so many delicious meals to make in these autumn months, but what do you do with all your leftover vegetable scraps? Compost them!
At the festival this year, we focused on composting by creating waste stations staffed by friendly volunteers willing to help educate folks on what they could compost. This lead to a significant decrease in the waste created at the festival.
Composting is pretty easy even in an apartment. Here’s how to start a small compost in your apartment.
- Get a bucket. The number one concern for people living in a place without the convenience of keeping the bin outside is the smell. There are composting bins on the market with a charcoal filter, which will keep the surrounding air smelling fresh.
Plastic bins with a lid work well too. Just be sure to drill some holes in the bottom and put a tray underneath to collect extra water and add a few near the top.
- Put a layer of brown material down. All those leaves on the boulevard this time of year act as great bedding for compost! You can also use grass clippings, straw, dead plants or torn up cardboard or newspaper.
- Add water. This layer should be the wetness of a wrung-out sponge.
- Here’s where the fun starts: add red worms! They’re otherwise known as red wiggler worms (which is super fun to say). Contact your local gardening clubs or municipal waste management to source them locally. You can also buy them online.
- It’s time to add your food scraps. You can compost green material, which includes vegetable or fruit scraps, coffee grounds and rinsed and crushed egg shells. Cut them up into small pieces to ensure they compost quicker.
- After that, keep layering brown and green material. Rule of thumb: for every 2-3 inches of green material, put an inch of brown material to ensure a healthy environment for those worms to work. Throughout the process, the materials should maintain the wetness of a sponge.
- Keep the bin in a cooler area with airflow, like under the sink (but leave the cabinet doors open from time to time).
By the end of the winter, you will not only have great compost for your garden, but will have cut back your waste by roughly 30 per cent!
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