Once upon a time, I believed that living in an apartment meant that I simply couldn't compost my food scraps. Vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, tea leaves and coffee grounds were all banished to the kitchen garbage can without a second thought. I didn’t question what I now know to be a false assumption: that living in an apartment = no yard to house a compost bin = complete inability to compost.
These days, J and I compost all of the things I mentioned above, and we do so while living in an apartment. We started out using a large Tupperware container under the sink, eventually picking up a handy little counter top compost pail from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The pail has holes in the top and a charcoal filter to keep it from stinking up our little space, and is the perfect solution for us.
Our counter top method is not the only way to compost in an apartment, though. This article from The Kitchn has a few great methods that are worth checking out.
The big question after choosing a method is, of course, where do we dispose of the compost? The answer is community gardens/compost sites. We walk 20 minutes to our nearest community garden once or twice a week to dump out our pail. It adds a bit of extra exercise to our day, allows us some alone time together, and - during the warmer months - gives us a chance to check in on the progress of everyone’s garden boxes. If you live in Winnipeg, take a peek at this great list of community compost sites on the Green Action Centre website to find a site near you.
In an ideal world our little city would have a city-wide composting system in place, and perhaps one day we will see this become a reality. But in the meantime, we all have the ability to make our own small, positive impact on our community by keeping a ton of organic waste out of the landfill and instead contributing to the success of our community garden spaces.
That’s worth challenging the assumption that apartment dwellers can’t compost, don't you think?