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3 Apartment Composting Solutions That Work in Small Spaces

Composting in small spaces is totally possible. Here are some of the best apartment composting solutions to try, from worm bins to Bokashi.

Written by
Stephanie Osmanski

Composting is only for people with big backyards... right? Not at all. Even if you’re living in a small space, you can still dispose of your food scraps in an eco-friendly way. And yep, that means there are plenty of different apartment composting solutions to try.

Kathryn Kellogg, creator of Going Zero Waste and author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, shared a few of her favorite apartment composting solutions. All of them are small, easy to use, and—most importantly—don't involve a mess or any weird smells. Dare we say they even make dealing with food waste fun.

3 Apartment Composting Options to Try

1. Worm Bin

Try It: Worm Farm Composter, $179

One of the most common apartment composting solutions is the worm bin. Yes, there are real worms inside, but don’t worry: with the lid on, they can’t squirm out. It's basically like having a bunch of slimy little pets.

While you can buy one like the option above, you can also assemble a homemade version. And if you're worried about the smell, don't be: “It doesn’t smell at all," says Kellogg. "The worms just basically eat all of your food scraps.”

2. Bokashi

Bokashi is a different kind of composting method that relies on the fermentation of specialist bacteria, rather than decomposed. “Bokashi is one of my favorite methods,” says Kellogg. "It's about the size of a really small trash can and can be put under your sink. It uses enzymes to dissolve pretty much any food scraps."

It may sound complicated, but it’s really simple to use. You simply add your food scraps to your Bokashi Bucket along with Bokashi Activator Mix. You'll want to smash down the food to remove any air. Keep the bucket sealed tight, and once the food scraps ferment, you'll receive a nutrient-filled liquid that you can use to fertilize your plants. (Just make sure to dilute it with water first, because this stuff is powerful.)

Once the fermentation process is complete, you can use the nutrient-packed pre-compost in potting containers. Or, give it to a local community garden that would probably be more than willing to take it off your hands.

3. Electric Food Composter

Try It: Vitamix FoodCycler, $300

While high-tech electric food composters are the most expensive option on the list, they're pretty amazing. "These machines turn your food scraps into compost overnight," Kellogg says.

Because of how quickly these composters work, they're always mess-free and smell-free. Take this option from Vitamix, for instance: After running a cycle, the food waste will be a tenth of its original volume. It's also loaded with nutrients, making it a great option for a windowsill herb garden or your plants.