Learn How To Compost Without A Garden

Food waste in indoor compost bin

These days, we are all aware of the importance of living a more green lifestyle, and focusing on things like using less energy, conserving water, and recycling. When it comes to composting however, many of us are hesitant. Apartment and condo living can often seem incompatible with saving and using food waste. Most of us assume that we can’t compost without a garden, much less a yard.

It all comes down to two issues: where to make the compost, and how to use it.

Fortunately, there are solutions to both problems.

Option #1: The Ultimate Solution: Use a Composting Service

Moonshot Compost employee collecting food waste from residential property

A composting service is a one-stop solution to these problems. It is a way to be environmentally and community minded – keeping your food waste from winding up in landfills while putting it to good use within your area – with the added bonus of requiring a minimum amount of effort on your behalf.

At Moonshot Compost, we make it easy for Houston residents to divert their food waste with both curbside pickup and drop-off options.

That food waste is taken to commercial composting facilities or community gardens.Twice a year, compost is returned to you or you can choose to donate it to one of our partnered community gardens.

Option #2: Compost Indoors

Food waste in indoor compost bin

Traditionally, compost is stored outside in a bin or a pile. While there are advantages to this method, it can be difficult for residents living in small spaces or multifamily units such as apartment complexes.

Indoor composting is a great alternative for city living, and there are actually quite a few benefits to doing it this way.

Benefits to Indoor Composting

The biggest advantage to indoor composting is the stability that room temperature lends to the process.

Compost is created when organic matter (such as lawn clippings or food waste) are broken down over time by other decomposing organisms. The sweet spot where this happens is between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This can mean trouble for outdoor compost piles during the chill of late fall and winter.

Compost also needs to be protected from exposure to direct sunlight and inclement weather such as severe rainstorms. Indoors however, you can keep your home right in the target temperature, while ensuring that everything stays dry and shielded from the sun.

Tools and Tactics

All that is truly needed for indoor composting  is a bin for your waste to sit in while it breaks down. 

The two most popular methods of indoor composting are aerobic composting and vermicomposting. 

Aerobic composting involves utilizing microorganisms to help decay green and brown organic matter, breaking it down into compost. Green matter consists of food scraps from fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and tea leaves, egg shells, grass, and grains such as oatmeal, rice, and bread. Brown matter is made up of items like paper, cardboard, napkins, coffee filters and tea bags, and yard material such as wood chips or dead leaves. Because it requires oxygen to work, this method needs sufficient airflow, and the right moisture levels, to be effective.

Vermicomposting relies not on soil but on earthworms, which eat through the food wastes and lawn matter, turning them into nutrient rich compost which can then be used as fertilizer.

Indoor Uses

There are plenty of uses for compost besides outdoor gardening. Adding it to your potted houseplants as fertilizer will give new life to your indoor vines, ferns, and succulents. Just add a top layer of compost every few months to keep them healthy and happy.

If you have more compost than you do houseplants, it’s always great to share with friends and neighbors. If you still have more compost than you need, donating it to a local organization is a great avenue to pursue.

Option #3: Involve the Community

Group of people planting vegetables at community garden

Reducing food waste is not something that we have to do on our own. In fact, there are many simple ways we can involve our friends, families, and neighbors in our composting efforts.

Communal Spaces

Not all apartment tenants are relegated to their own balconies for outdoor usage. Many complexes have a shared outdoor space that may be available for communal composting and perhaps even gardening. This is not only a great way to cut down on multiple families’ food waste output at once, but a very fun and healthy way of getting involved with your neighbors and community.

Spreading The Love

There are different types of organizations that utilize composting for their business and community endeavors. Many of these will accept food waste and yard clippings to use for turning into compost themselves. This can be a great way to help out your community without being personally responsible for the cultivation of healthy compost. Organize your apartment complex, business, or school to start collecting its food waste, and then pick a local garden to donate the food waste to.

Community gardens are also a great option for sharing your compost. These are  usually volunteer-led local garden projects that rely on residents to give of their time and effort to grow food for the local community. Oftentimes there is little to no budget, making compost an attractive way to fertilize their soil. Getting involved in a community garden is a great pastime that is both communally and personally enriching.

Moonshot Is Here To Help

For residents in Houston, Moonshot offers three residential composting plans: Drop-Off, Home Pickup, and Home Pickup +. 

All three plans come with a four-gallon bin and counter caddy, compostable bags, and the opportunity to change or pause your plan at any time. Home Pickup includes up to two 4-gallon bins and Home Pickup + includes up to four 4-gallon bins. Both pickup plans also include referral rewards, the flexibility to skip a collection for a $5 refund, and a complimentary reminder text the night before collection.

Also included in each plan is a personalized Diversion Dashboard, where you can track exactly what difference you are making through composting with Moonshot. Unlike most compost collectors, Moonshot weighs each collection separately for subscribers on pickup plans, so you can see your own contribution as well as that of your community. Drop-off subscribers can weigh their own drop-offs.

The Diversion Dashboard includes stats like pounds of CO2 saved, pounds of waste diverted from landfills, and more.

We also offer multifamily service for condos and apartment complexes, with Basic, Premium, and Premium + plans, with custom plans also available. These plans all include a 55-gallon drum for the complex and compost reporting. We work directly with property management to set up these services. If you would like to have us work with your complex, spread the word to your neighbors, and have your property manager contact us today to set up a plan.