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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 impactful practice that anyone can adopt, regardless of living situation. Rather than letting organic waste decompose in landfills and produce methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to create nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Before you go for it, assess which composting method is the most appropriate for your living conditions. Renters frequently prioritize space and convenience. Thankfully, there are numerous alternatives to choose from:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you have available space outdoors, think about buying a compost bin or tumbler. These are offered in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you may pick one to suit your demands and aesthetic tastes.
  • Indoor composting: Don’t have a backyard? No problem! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are excellent for apartment residents and people who have limited outdoor space. They’re small, free of smell, and simple to take care of.

Find the Perfect Spot

Choose a spot that receives partial sunlight and enough drainage for outdoor containers. Avoid putting it directly against your house or near places that are delicate, such as water sources.

If you choose indoor composting, find a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. Contemplate accessibility and airflow to ensure your composting system stays healthy and free of odor.

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need an assortment of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials including fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper). To keep a balanced compost pile, strive for approximately 1 part greens to 1 part browns.

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 important nutrients to your compost pile and contributing to the formation 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, emit bad scents, and introduce diseases into your pile of waste. It’s advisable to get rid of them through different methods, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

Turn, Turn, Turn: Frequently turning your compost pile promotes aeration and speeds up decomposition. Try to turn your pile at least twice a week using a pitchfork or shovel.

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge – not overly dry or wet. If it’s too dehydrated, add water; if it’s too moist, add more browns to take in the additional moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Do you have a little outdoor space? No problem! Indoor composting methods are excellent for renters who want to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a small and scent-free approach to composting indoors. Add your food scraps to the bin and allow the worms to do all the work. Worm castings also make a fantastic fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: Countertop composters offer a simple choice for people with limited room. These compact containers fit snugly on your kitchen counter and utilize aerobic composting to dispose of food residue rapidly and thoroughly.

With these indoor composting methods, renters may simply incorporate composting into their everyday lives and positively impact the environment – right from the safety of their homes.

Benefits for Rental Properties

Did you understand that composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself? Composting at your rental property can help your tenants live in a more environmentally friendly and desirable environment. Listed below are some approaches that composting can improve your rental property:

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

Congrats, you’re now a composting master! By following the easy methods given in this article, you can help reduce waste, enrich the environment, and create healthier soil for your plants.


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

Ready to take the next phase in your journey toward more environmentally friendly living? Get in touch with Real Property Management Richmond Metro for all your rental requests. We deliver an extensive selection of rental properties in the Chesterfield County area as well as nearby. Contact us now using our online platform or browse our available rental listings to locate the best home and start composting in your very own place!

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