Balcony Compost Bin – Kitchen scraps account for more than a fifth of municipal solid trash. Not only does composting this material reduce the quantity of trash thrown into our landfills each year, but kitchen scraps are also a potential source of greenhouse gases. But what if you live in an apartment or a high-rise building? Is it possible to compost on a balcony? The answer is yes, and here’s how you can find out.
Composting principles apply whether you have acres of land or a concrete balcony. Kitchen scraps constitute the green component of compost, which is mixed with browns. Vegetable peels, wasted fruit, eggshells, and coffee grounds are all good greens for a balcony compost container.
Landowners generally have access to the brown strata, which consists of leaves, pine needles, and shredded wood. For balcony composting initiatives, these items may be in limited supply. For the brown component, more easily accessible materials such as shredded paper and dryer lint may be utilized.
Balcony composting also requires a little extra care when temps drop below freezing. Normally, a backyard compost pile of at least 3 feet by 3 feet (1 m. × 1 m.) will produce enough heat to keep the contents from freezing throughout the winter. This keeps the compost pile active throughout the winter months.
Because the typical balcony compost container is too small to produce its own heat, measures must be taken if year-round composting is required. Moving the trash to a garage or outside utility room may offer enough shelter from winter temperatures. If that isn’t a possibility, wrap the container with bubble wrap. Relocating it near a south-facing brick wall or a heat source, such as a dryer vent or furnace exhaust pipe, may also be beneficial.
Is it Possible to Compost on a Balcony?
Urban composting requires just a modest amount of area. To keep everything gently wet, you’ll need a container, kitchen scraps, and a water mister. Place the container outdoors and fill it with organic trash. A compost starter is beneficial but not required, as is some garden soil with the basic aerobic life required to begin the breakdown process.
The most essential thing is to stir the fresh compost and keep it moderately wet. When you use a two bin or container system, you may have one completed product while the second container is in use.
If you need to produce compost in a small area, consider using an electric composter. With only a little counter space, these innovative devices can convert your food waste into black, rich soil. They may be marketed as food recycles or electric compost bins. They can break down food in five hours by drying and heating it first, then grinding it and lastly chilling it for usage.
Carbon filters capture all related smells. If you can’t afford this option and don’t have time for the others, try donating your kitchen waste to a community garden or finding someone who has hens. As a result, some good will come from your trash, and you can still be an environmental hero.
Steps on Making a Balcony Compost Bin
- Begin your balcony composting endeavor by buying a ready-made bin or building your own from an old plastic garbage can or tote with a lid:
- Drill or cut several tiny holes on the bottom and sides of the container to create your own bin. Excess moisture may be drained via the holes at the bottom. The side holes supply the composting process with the oxygen it requires.
- Then, using numerous bricks or wood blocks, raise the container. A slimy texture or a rotten egg odor suggest that the compost is too wet and that additional drainage holes are required.
- Use a drip tray to catch the liquid that drops out of the trash to protect the balcony from staining. A boot tray, an old saucer-style sled, or a water heater drip pan are just a few examples of things that may be reused.
- When your compost bin is ready to go, start by stacking your greens and browns. When you add additional material, tighten the container top to keep rain, birds, and other animals out. Stirring or rotating the compost on a regular basis will improve oxygenation and ensure that the material composts evenly.
The composting process is complete when the material in the bin has changed to a black, crumbly texture with no sign of the original organic components. Compostable material will have an earthy, pleasant odor once it has been successfully composted. Simply remove the balcony compost and save it for the next time you wish to re-pot a flower or grow hanging vegetables.
What can you do to minimize kitchen trash if you live in an apartment or condo and your municipality does not have a yard composting program? Composting in an apartment or other tiny area is difficult, but it is doable. Simple measures may significantly decrease your waste profile while also benefiting the health of our world.
Composting in a Small Space
Composting inside may be appealing to apartment and condo residents who are concerned about the smell. There are really new techniques that do not produce an odor and produce excellent houseplant soil. Urban composting is often supported by municipal trash collection or private businesses, but you may set up your own system at home and produce a little black gold for your own use.
In places where composting services are unavailable, you may still compost your kitchen waste. Making a worm bin is one of the easiest ways. This is nothing more than a plastic container with drainage and air holes drilled into the top and bottom. Then cover it with shredded newspaper, red wiggler worms, and kitchen trash. Castings, which are nutritious plant nourishment, are released by the worms over time.
Vermicomposting systems are also available for purchase. If you don’t want to deal with worms, consider bokashi composting inside. This technique allows you to compost any organic material, including meat and bones. Simply place all of your food waste in a bin and add a microbe-rich activator. This ferments the food and degrades it in approximately a month.