Indoor Composting

Indoor Composting - Indoor compost bin reviews, compost piles

Indoor Composting

Whether you need an indoor compost bin, want to learn how bo build a compost pile or just want to learn how to compost, visit this tutorial.

Green Living Made Easy on Facebook
Bookmark and Share Subscribe Indoor Composting:

If you don't have a place to start a compost pile outside or even if you don't know how to compost, and you thought that indoor composting was impossible - think again! You can compost in the house and there is more than one way to do it.

I'll teach you three different ways. Before we start, I know what you're thinking and the answer is no, composting indoors doesn't stink as long as you do it right!

Use a Small Compost Tumbler

A small compost tumbler, like the Envirocycle, can be used for indoor composting on a small patio or even in the basement or other small area indoors. Many people like these because they are easy to use

You only have to add your materials and then turn the drum to aerate your compost. This particular model has a locking top that keeps the compost safe inside the tumbler. It's about 2.5 feet high by 2 feet wide, so you do need a little space, but not too much.

Garbage Can Indoor Composting

If you have room in a garage or basement for a 50 gallon garbage can, you can use it for indoor composting. Here are some simple instructions to help you get started:

Step One: Gather Your Supplies
    A drill to put a few holes into your garbage can. If you don't have a drill and are using a plastic container, a hammer and a nail will work too.

    A tray to put under your container. Anything that can catch a little liquid is fine.
    A small pail to hold your food scraps until you add them to your garbage can. Many people use a plastic ice cream pail or a small cooler, but if you're going to keep it in your kitchen, you may want to consider buying a special pail with charcoal filters to make sure that you don't get any strange smells indoors.
    A plastic pail like this is perfect for food scraps that are kept under the sink. If you'd like something that you can keep out on a counter, there is a great stainless steel compost pail that's both attractive and convenient.
    Something to aerate your compost.  They make special compost aerators (link to Amazon) and it's highly recommended that you purchase one of these. They are easy to use and will add air to your compost, which is essential to the composting process.
    You may also want to purchase some compost activator (link to Amazon) This isn't completely necessary, but it is very useful in getting starting and will help to speed up the process of indoor composting.
Step Two - Making your composter

Start by drilling holes in the lid of your container and along the sides at the top. This will allow air to flow through. You'll also need to drill a few in the bottom of the container, allowing it to drain.

Step Three - Saving food

Now you can start saving food scraps to add to your garbage can. Good things to save include vegetable and fruit, bread, rice, and pasta. You can also save tea bags and coffee grounds. Some items you won't want to save include meat and bones, potato peelings, and any dairy products. The allowable items can be added them to your pail as you save them. - The Ultimate Garden Center

Want to learn more about green living? Sign up for our Free Weekly Newsletter, and we'll deliver green living tips and information about high-quality green products to your inbox once a week. Rest assured that we'll never share your information with anyone and only use it to send you our free newsletter.

Step Four - Add Brown Material

Every time you add a layer of food scraps, also called green material, you'll want to add some brown material as well. This can include dead grass clippings, dead leaves, shredded newspaper, sawdust, etc. You'll have to make sure the brown material that you are adding is in small enough pieces or it won't break down properly.

Step Five - Aerate Frequently

Every week or so, you'll want to aerate your compost pile to make sure that oxygen is getting into your compost. It's really simple, just use an Aerator or pitchfork to stir your compost around, bringing what's on the bottom up to the top.

Step Six - Add Water When Needed

Compost should always be damp like a sponge, but not so wet that it's dripping. Usually, the food scraps that you add will offer enough moisture, but you should watch your pile and add water if it looks dry.

If you accidentally make your pile too wet, try adding more brown material to soak up the excess moisture. Keep a pair of gloves by your garbage can/compost bin so you can check the moisture level without getting your hands dirty.

Step Seven - Use your Compost

There are lots of things you can do with your compost. If you have plants (indoor or outdoor) you can add the compost directly to the soil. You can also mix it with water and use it to spray your plants. The only thing that it's not recommended for is planting seeds or using on new plants.

If you don't have enough room for a garbage can, there is one more method that may work for you...

Compost With Freezer Bags

Compost With Freezer Bags

Indoor Composting with Freezer Bags

Start by saving your food scraps in a pail with a lid, as I explained before. Once your container is full, transfer it from the pail into freezer bags.

Add "brown" ingredients - shredded newspaper, dried grass clippings, sawdust, or shredded leaves until the bag is half full. Add a little water (remember: moist like a wrung out sponge) and then seal the bag.

Put this bag inside another freezer bag, write the date on it, and put it somewhere warm. In six months or so, you should have compost that's ready to use. If it looks like soil, it's probably ready to be used. You don't want to open it too early - the smell will NOT be appealing.

If composting indoors is not for you, consider donating your food scraps. Many communities are starting to accept food scraps at recycle centers and other locations. This way you'll be helping the environment and lowering your own energy costs, even if composting isn't right for you.

And you thought you couldn't do composting indoors! You're getting greener by the minute, congratulations...

Also check out our articles on Backyard Composting, Worm Composting, Composting Troubleshooting, and Composting Materials for lots of additional great tips.

Also - here are some of our Favorite Books on Composting.