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

A woman putting organic waste into a compost bin. Composting is a simple and effective practice that anyone can take on, regardless of living situation. As opposed to letting organic waste decompose in landfills and produce methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to make nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Before you go for it, pause for a minute to consider which composting method aligns best with your everyday environment. For renters, space and convenience are frequently the first concerns. Luckily, there are a few choices to look over:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you can access outdoor space, consider putting resources in a compost bin or tumbler. These come in different sizes and designs, so you can determine one that meets your requirements and visual preferences.
  • Indoor composting: Don’t have a backyard? No problem! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are perfect for apartment dwellers or those with limited outdoor space. They’re compact, odor-free, and easy to maintain.

Find the Perfect Spot

Go for a spot that receives partial sunlight and has enough drainage for outdoor bins. Try not to put it straightforwardly against your home or close to delicate areas like water sources.

If you go for indoor composting, search for a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. Think about accessibility and ventilation to ensure your composting system stays healthy and odor-free.

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a combination of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper). Aim for something like 1 part greens to 1 part browns to uphold 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, adding significant nutrients to your compost heap and assisting with making nutrient-rich soil for your plants.

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, make a foul smell, or bring unsafe pathogens into your compost pile. It’s ideal to discard them through different means, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Routinely turning your compost pile helps aerate it and speed up decomposition. Try to turn your heap every week or two using a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge – not excessively dry or wet. If it’s excessively dry, add water; assuming it’s excessively wet, add more browns to absorb the excess moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Short on outside space? That’s fine! Indoor composting methods are ideally suited for renters who need to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a tiny and odorless means to compost indoors. Add your food scraps to the bin and let the worms handle the rest. Additionally, worm castings make astounding fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: Countertop composters are a helpful choice for those with restricted space. These little containers fit perfectly on your kitchen counter and utilize aerobic composting to break down food scraps rapidly and effectively.

With these indoor composting methods, renters can undoubtedly incorporate composting into their day-to-day schedules and positively impact the environment – right from the comfort of their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Do you have any idea that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Promoting composting at your rental property can make a more eco-friendly and desirable living environment for your tenants. The following are a couple of ways composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: In properties with yards, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, assisting healthier plant growth and upgrading landscaping aesthetics.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties by redirecting natural waste from landfills.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: In multi-unit housing complexes, composting ideas can develop a sense of community among tenants and exhibit the property’s obligation to sustainability.

Congratulations, you’re now a composting pro! By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you’ve taken a big step towards reducing waste, nourishing the environment, and creating healthier soil for your plants.


Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s an ideal approach. So, better not waste your time. Get your compost bin and begin converting kitchen scraps into garden gold today!

Ready to take the next step in your journey towards sustainable living? Contact Real Property Management Viking for all your rental needs. We offer a wide selection of rental properties in the Eden Prairie area and beyond. Contact us today through our online platform or browse our available rental listings to locate a suitable home and begin composting in your very own place!

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