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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 everyone can start, irrespective of where they reside. Rather than letting organic waste decompose in landfills and discharge methane, we can compost food scraps and yard trimmings to create nutrient-rich soil for plants.

Choose Your Composting Method

Consider your living situation to determine which composting method is ideal for you before you get started. Space and convenience are frequently renters’ top concerns. Luckily, you can pick from a few different alternatives:

  • Outdoor compost bin: If you can access the outdoor area, consider getting a compost bin or tumbler. You can select one that suits your demands and aesthetic choices from the different sizes and styles available.
  • Indoor composting: Do you not possess a backyard? No worries! Indoor composting systems, such as worm bins or countertop composters, are excellent for those who live in apartments or individuals with limited outdoor space. They’re small, they don’t smell, and they are easy to clean.

Find the Perfect Spot

Determine a spot that receives partial sunlight and has ample drainage for the outside bins. Keep it away from your home and any potential water sources or other vulnerable spots.

If you prefer indoor composting, search for a convenient spot in your kitchen or utility area. To ensure your composting system stays healthy and odor-free, consider how well it can be accessed and ventilated.

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a mix of “greens” (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps) and “browns” (carbon-rich materials like dry leaves or newspaper). Aim for about 1 part greens to 1 part browns to retain 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, enriching the compost pile with beneficial nutrients and helping to produce 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 offensive odors, and even introduce dangerous diseases into your compost pile. It’s advisable to discard them through other methods, such as recycling or regular trash collection.

Maintaining Your Compost

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

Monitor Moisture: Your compost pile should feel like a damp sponge – not too dry or wet. If it’s too dry, drizzle in more water; if it’s too wet, incorporate more browns to soak up the extra moisture.

Indoor Composting Methods for Renters

Scarce on outdoor space? It’s alright! Indoor composting methods are a great option for renters who want to reduce waste without sacrificing convenience.

  • Worm Bins: Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a small and odor-free method to compost indoors. Add your food scraps to the bin, and the worms will take care of the rest. On top of that, worm castings make good fertilizer for houseplants!
  • Countertop Composters: Countertop composters are a convenient option for those with limited space. These small bins fit neatly on your kitchen counter and use aerobic composting to break down food scraps quickly and efficiently.

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

Benefits for Rental Properties

Composting can benefit renters and the rental property itself, something you might now have known. You can develop a more sustainable and appealing living environment for your tenants by promoting composting at your rental property. Some ways composting can improve your rental property are as follows:

  • Improved Soil Quality: In properties with yards, fertilizer adds essential nutrients to the soil, upholding healthier plant growth and developing landscaping aesthetics.
  • Reduced Waste Management Costs: Composting can help reduce waste management costs for rental properties by reducing the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Enhanced Community Engagement: Composting programs in apartment buildings bring a sense of community among tenants and show that the property cares about the environment.

Congratulations, you’re now a composting pro! If you want to help the environment, make soil that is better for plants, and reduce waste, all you have to do is follow the steps in this article.


Whether you’re composting in a backyard or a high-rise apartment, there’s an ideal way. Then why are you hesitating? Your kitchen scraps can become garden gold if you get a compost container and start turning them today!

Are you prepared to leap into the next phase of your quest for an eco-friendly lifestyle? For any and all rental needs, contact Real Property Management Southern Utah. We provide a wide variety of rental homes in the Santa Clara area and beyond. If you’re looking for a place to rent where you can begin composting right away, contact us through our online platform or browse our available rental listings immediately.

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