Mastering Indoor Composting: A Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Living

Can You Compost Indoors: Turning Kitchen Scraps into Nutrient-Rich Soil

Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste, enrich your soil, and contribute to a greener planet. But what if you don’t have access to an outdoor space or live in an apartment? Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll explore the possibilities of composting indoors and how you can turn your kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich soil right at home.

The Benefits of Indoor Composting

Indoor composting offers numerous advantages for those with limited outdoor space or urban dwellers without access to gardens:

  • Reduces waste: By composting indoors, you can divert organic matter from entering landfills and minimize greenhouse gas emissions associated with decomposition.
  • Nutrient-rich soil: Indoor composting allows you to create high-quality fertilizer that can be used for houseplants or balcony gardens.
  • Eco-friendly solution: Contributing towards reducing environmental impact while reaping the benefits of rich compost is a win-win situation!

Getting Started with Indoor Composting

Now that you’re excited about indoor composting let’s dive into the essential steps:

Selecting the Right Container

The first step is finding a suitable container for your indoor composter. Look for options such as specialized countertop bins, lidded buckets, or even repurposed containers like plastic storage bins. Ensure it has sufficient ventilation and drainage holes.

Choosing Your Methodology – Vermicomposting vs. Traditional Composting

There are two popular methods for indoor composting: vermicomposting and traditional composting. Let’s explore both:


Vermicomposting involves using red worms (Eisenia fetida) to break down organic waste into nutrient-rich castings or worm compost. This method is ideal for small spaces and produces odorless, dark fertilizer that’s highly beneficial for plants.

Traditional Composting

If you have a bit more space available, traditional composting can be done with the help of aerobic bacteria and fungi to decompose organic matter. While it requires more time than vermicomposting, the end result is still rich in nutrients.

Add the Right Ingredients

  • Kitchen Scraps: Fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, crushed eggshells – all make excellent additions to your indoor composter.
  • Avoid Meat & Dairy Products: To prevent odors and attract pests, refrain from adding meat, dairy products, or oily foods into your indoor composter.
  • Brown Materials: Balance out nitrogen-rich kitchen scraps with carbon-rich materials like shredded newspaper or dry leaves.

Maintaining Your Indoor Compost Pile

  • Moisture Levels: Keep your compost moist but not overly wet by periodically misting water onto the pile as needed.
  • Aeration: Regularly turn or mix the contents of your indoor composter to encourage airflow and prevent unpleasant smells.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain an ideal temperature range between 55-77°F (13-25°C) for optimal decomposition. Avoid extreme cold or heat as it may harm beneficial organisms.

Using Your Indoor Compost

Once your indoor compost has fully decomposed, it’s time to reap the rewards:

  • Potted Plants: Mix your finished compost with potting soil for a nutrient boost when repotting or planting new houseplants.
  • Balcony or Rooftop Gardens: If you have access to outdoor spaces, enrich the soil in containers or raised beds with your homemade compost.

A Word on Odors and Pests

To prevent unpleasant smells and unwanted visitors:

Odor Control
  • Balance moist and dry ingredients properly to avoid excess moisture accumulation that may lead to odor formation.
  • Add a layer of brown materials like shredded paper over food scraps to minimize odors.
  • Avoid adding strong-smelling foods such as onions or garlic if you are sensitive to their fragrance indoors.
    Pest Prevention