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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 straightforward and efficacious and can be adopted by individuals of all lifestyles. Rather than letting organic waste decompose in landfills and emit methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to make nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Before you begin, determine which composting method is most suitable for the circumstances in which you live. Priority criteria for renters are space and convenience. Fortunately, there is an abundance of options available for your consideration:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you have access to an outdoor area, you should consider investing in a compost bin or tumbler. These are available in numerous sizes and designs, enabling you to select one that fulfills your requirements and aesthetic preferences.
  • Indoor composting: Don’t have a backyard? Don’t worry! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are great for apartment residents or those with limited outdoor space. They’re compact, odorless, and easy to look after.

Find the Perfect Spot

Select a spot that receives partial sunlight and has adequate drainage for exterior bins. Avoid putting it directly against your residence or in close proximity to vulnerable areas such as water sources.

If you decide on indoor composting, find a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. To ensure your composting system stays healthy and odorless, consider accessibility and ventilation.

Gather Your Materials

A mixture of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials such as fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials such as dried leaves or newspaper) is necessary. Aim for around 1 part greens to 1 part browns to keep 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, supplying 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, emanate bad odors, or introduce dangerous bacteria into your compost pile. It’s best to dispose of them through other avenues, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Regularly turning your compost pile helps aerate it and speed up decomposition. Attempt to move your pile once to twice a week with a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge – not too dry or saturated. If it’s too dry, add water; if it’s too wet, incorporate additional brown to absorb the excess moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Restricted external space? No problem! Indoor composting methods are optimal for renters who like to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a small and smell-free strategy to compost indoors. Add your food scraps to the bin and let the worms handle their thing. Moreover, worm castings make excellent fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: Countertop composters are an economically viable option for individuals residing in compact living spaces. These compact containers fit nicely on your kitchen counter and use aerobic composting to decompose food leftovers swiftly and effectively.

With these indoor composting methods, renters can simply incorporate composting into their normal lives and positively impact the environment – all from the convenience of their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Do you perceive that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Allowing composting at your rental property has the potential to enhance its environmental friendliness and appeal to your tenants. Below are a couple of approaches composting can improve your rental property:

  • Improved Soil Quality: In properties with yards, compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, promoting healthier plant growth and improving landscaping aesthetics.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties by diverting organic material from landfills.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: In multi-unit apartment buildings, composting programs can promote a sense of community among tenants and demonstrate the property’s dedication to environmental sustainability.

Well done, you’re now a composting expert! By carrying out the straightforward procedures outlined in this tutorial, you’ve made a significant contribution towards reducing waste, protecting the environment, and generating healthier soil for your plants.


Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s an optimal method. Consequently, what are you waiting for? Get your compost bin and start transforming kitchen scraps into garden gold now!

Are you ready to embark on your next sustainable living endeavor? Communicate with Real Property Management Pacific for all your rental requirements. We provide an extended selection of rental properties in the Alameda and surrounding areas. Contact us today through our online platform or browse our available rental listings to find your ideal dwelling and begin composting in your very own space!

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