How To Start Composting Indoors

Forget stinky outdoor heaps and messy under-the-sink bins! Indoor composting is here to revolutionize your kitchen scraps with zero mess, zero odor, and all the magic. This guide on how to start composting indoors is designed to help you eliminate compost smell.

Picture this: a sleek, countertop bin that whisks away fruit peels and coffee grounds, silently transforming them into golden plant food while looking chic enough to impress your avocado-toast-loving bestie.

No more flies, no more guilt, just effortless sustainability that fits seamlessly into your modern lifestyle. Electric wonders that chomp through scraps in weeks, or stylish ceramic companions that add a touch of eco-flair to your kitchen counter.

Ready to ditch the trash can and embrace the compost revolution? Let’s turn kitchen waste into garden gold, one fragrant-free scoop at a time.

Choosing Your Indoor Compost Bin

You have four options when it comes to indoor compost bins. None is better than the other, and in many cases, a combination of composting efforts may be required. Especially for large households.

Electric Composters

  • Pros: Fastest decomposition (2-4 weeks), odor-free, convenient.
  • Cons: Expensive, high energy consumption, and most importantly – limited capacity.
  • Best for: Small but busy households, those with limited space, apartment dwellers.

Countertop Bins (Like This One On Amazon)

  • Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, compact, easy to manage.
  • Cons: Requires frequent brown additions, may experience occasional odors if not maintained.
  • Best for: Eco-conscious cooks, small living spaces, those seeking a stylish solution.

Under-Sink Bins

  • Pros: Large capacity, convenient location, less visual clutter.
  • Cons: May require modifications for drainage, potential for leaks or spills.
  • Best for: Those with larger kitchens, space-conscious individuals, compost enthusiasts.

DIY Composting Bin

  • Pros: Capacity can be any size you require.
  • Cons: Less visually appealing than pre-made compost bins.
  • Best For: The ‘Do-It-Yourselfer’ with extra time on their hands

Eliminate Smell From Your Compost

The only way to eliminate smell from your compost is by maintaining a proper Greens Browns ratio. One surefire way to ruin your smell prevention efforts is by adding something to your compost that shouldn’t be there. Here is a quick reminder of what you can and should not compost with an emphasis on keeping the smell to a minimum.

No Smell Green to Brown Ratio – The Golden Rule – 2:1 ratio of greens (nitrogen) to browns (carbon).

  • Safe Greens: Fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags (strings removed!), nut shells (crushed).
  • Best Browns: Shredded paper, cardboard (no glossy finishes), autumn leaves (except citrus), wood chips, straw.

Here are a few more compostable kitchen items that are safe to add in limited quantities when keeping the smell down.

  • Egg Shells can be added in small amounts, crushed finely, but may take longer to decompose.
  • Bread and Pasta Scraps can be added sparingly. They can become soggy, so balance with extra browns.
  • Tea Leaves: Fantastic nitrogen source, use loose-leaf and always remove staples from bags.

Finally, a list of foods that can often times be included in an outdoor compost pile, but should never be added to your indoor composting efforts.

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Oils

One final tip on items that should not go in your compost is to never use pet waste. Pet waste attracts pests, creates odors, and disrupts decomposition. The biggest battle with smells comes from knowing what not to add to your compost pile.

Learning how to start composting indoors may seem complicated at first, but eventually you will establish good composting habits that become second nature.

How Much Moisture Does Indoor Compost Need?

Moisture Meter: Aim for dampness like a wrung-out sponge. Too wet? Add browns and aerate. Too dry? Spritz with water. Also, turn your pile every week with a shovel or hand tool. Think of it as giving your compost a good stir-fry! By turning your pile you are adding air to the mix which aids in the decomposition process.

Equally important to getting air to your pile is playing the Temperature Tango. 60-80°F is the sweet spot. Avoid placing your bin near heat sources or cold drafts.

If you are having odor problems with your compost remember, adding browns and aeration are your best friends. Check your pile for hidden items that may have slipped in but shouldn’t have.

Another common problem with indoor compost is fruit flies. One way to eliminate them is by covering scraps with browns, securing the lid tightly, and don’t overfeed your bin.

Moisture and aeration require balance for decomposition. If you are seeing slugging decomposition rates your balance is off. Add browns, chop scraps smaller, and consider turning more frequently.

After 2-3 months, dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling goodness awaits! Mix compost with potting mix for a nutrient boost. Watch your leafy friends thrive!

You can also spread compost around plants or mix into soil for improved fertility and water retention. Your garden will thank you! Another untraditional gift idea is giving compost to friends, neighbors, or community gardens.

Now that you are an expert on how to start composting indoors, expand your horizons by reading Ace’s Guide to Indoor Gardening.

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