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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 trouble-free and efficient routine that can be embraced by everyone, no matter where they live. As an alternative 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 initiating, take a breath and evaluate which composting method most matches your living situation. Renters usually concentrate on space and convenience. Fortunately, you have a range of options to choose from:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you have outdoor space available, consider purchasing a compost bin or tumbler. Offered in various sizes and designs to accommodate your needs and aesthetic needs.
  • Indoor composting: Explore these alternatives if you don’t have a backyard. For apartment residents or those with limited outdoor space, indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are perfect. It is small, scent-free, and easy to manage.

Find the Perfect Spot

Find a spot that receives partial sunlight and has proper drainage for outdoor bins. Avoid placing it adjacent to your residence or in close proximity to vulnerable areas such as water sources.

When choosing indoor composting, look for a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. Keep in mind the need for accessibility and ventilation to ensure your composting system stays healthy and odor-free.

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 required. Strive for approximately 1 part greens to 1 part browns to sustain 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, delivering vital nutrients to your compost pile and aiding in the production of 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, generate unpleasant smells, or bring hazardous pathogens into your compost pile. It’s optimal to discard them using alternative methods, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Frequently turning your compost pile enhances aeration and speeds up decomposition. Make an effort to turn your pile every week or two using a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge, preventing dryness and excessive dampness. To moisten a dry compost pile, you need to add water. If the compile post is excessively moist, counterbalance it by incorporating more brown materials.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Is your outside space restricted? No problem! Indoor composting methods are recommended for renters who want to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, which comprises composting with worms, offers a space-saving and smell-free way for indoor composting. Add your food scraps to the bin and let the worms carry out their task. Moreover, worm castings serve as a superb fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: Countertop composters offer a valuable solution for individuals with restricted space. These little bits are designed to fit neatly on your kitchen counter and use aerobic composting to break down food waste rapidly and efficiently.

With these indoor composting methods, renters can simply incorporate composting into their normal lives and make a positive impact on the environment without leaving their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Do you know that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Enabling composting at your rental property can provide a more ecologically conscious and appealing living environment for your tenants. Explore how composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: Compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, leading to healthier plant growth and better landscaping aesthetics in properties with yards.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties by diverting organic waste from landfills.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: Composting plans in multi-unit housing complexes may promote a sense of community among tenants and highlight the property’s dedication to the environment.

Congratulations, you’ve mastered the art of composting! By adhering to the guidelines in this tutorial, you have significantly advanced in reducing waste, supporting the environment, and generating healthier soil for your plants.

Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s always an appropriate way. So, what are you waiting for? Take your compost bin and start transforming kitchen scraps into garden gold today!


Are you ready to make improvements in your pursuit of sustainable living? Call Real Property Management Shoreline for your leasing requirements. We provide an assortment of rental properties in the Portland area and beyond. Contact us today through our online platform or browse our available rental listings to find your ideal home and begin composting in your environment!

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