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Composting Basics for Renters

Chapel Hill Renter Peeling a Cucumber Near a Compost PailAs a renter, you might not have thought about composting your kitchen scraps. Nevertheless, composting isn’t a choice unless you have a large garden. Right?

The truth is that even if you don’t have a lot of space, there are still sufficient grounds to compost your kitchen scraps. What’s more, it’s simple for renters to compost, even if you don’t have a huge yard or garden! Compost is great for all kinds of uses and can help you live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

This guide covers the basics of composting, such as what it is, why people do it, and the actions you’ll need to perform to get started.

What is composting?

In the most simple form, composting is the process of breaking down organic materials into a rich soil amendment. This “amendment” can then be utilized to enhance the quality of your garden soil, help your plants grow, and even serve as a natural fertilizer.

When you compost, you’re essentially copying nature’s process of breaking down organic matter. Therefore, you’re generating a solution that is good for the environment and incredibly helpful for a lot of green, growing things!

Why compost?

There are multiple reasons to compost, but one of the most significant is that it helps decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste and yard trimmings make up more than 20 percent of all transported to landfills yearly, and these substances can take years to break down.

Another important reason to compost is that it helps improve the quality of your garden soil. Compost enriches the soil with nutrients that plants require to grow, and it helps improve the soil’s structure, making it better equipped to retain water and resist pests and diseases.

What can be composted?

Almost all types of organic matter can be composted, including food scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard trimmings, and even paper towels and cardboard. You can even compost pet hair and used kitty litter. (For a complete list of what can and cannot be composted, explore this helpful guide from the EPA.)

How do I start composting?

Several Chapel Hill renters don’t know they can compost their food waste at home. By composting, you can decrease your garbage output and help the environment. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • If required, speak with your landlord or Chapel Hill property manager about obtaining permission to compost on the property.
  • If you reside in an apartment or condo, there may already be a community compost bin that you can utilize. Check with your building management to find out.
  • If you own a tiny yard or patio, think about obtaining a small compost bin to keep your food waste in until you’re ready to dispose of it properly. These bins can be found at most hardware stores or online.
  • Begin gathering your food waste in a container. You can utilize a kitchen garbage can, a plastic storage bin, or even a grocery bag.
  • When your container is full, bring it to your compost bin and add it to the pile. Don’t forget to mix it in properly so that it breaks down
  • When your food waste has broken down, you can utilize it as fertilizer for your plants or donate it to a local community garden.

Composting is a good idea to reduce your environmental impact, save stress on your garbage disposal, and save money on fertilizer and potting soil. By following these tips, you can get started composting today!


Are you searching for a new rental home – perhaps one with a larger yard or garden? If so, check our listings online to locate your next home.

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