The Pros and Cons of Home Composting in Your Apartment

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The Pros and Cons of Home Composting in Your Apartment

Staff Writer · Feb 18, 2010

When it comes to composting, apartment dwellers have some opportunities for turning their household waste into useful organic material. With all of the attention around sustainable practices and ecology these days, composting is something that many are considering, even in an urban setting. Here are some of the main pros and cons of deciding to do home composting in an apartment space.

Pros of Composting

  • A Useful Product – To many who attempt this kind of practice, the allure of home composting is in turning regular trash into prime fertilizer for a garden or other space. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to make this transformation happen, just a combination of the right environmental factors and the little time.
  • Less Waste – If you are paying by the can for your trash hauling, you may see a reduction in rates with a composting setup. Composting takes a significant portion of your material household waste and sets it aside for other uses, cutting down on the number of bags you may fill in any particular time period.
  • Ecological Points – For others, composting is a matter of conscience. Composting at home is one of those things an individual or family can do to help balance out some other practices that may be having a negative impact on the environment as a whole. It all depends on your personal philosophy about organics and material waste.

Cons of Composting

  • Space Limitations – In general, if you’re living in an apartment, you don’t have a whole lot of extra space for things like composting. Many of those who inhabit a housing unit within a multi-tenant building have to balance out a wide range of space needs, where making storage space for possessions is often a higher priority than keeping organic matter indoors. As a result, apartment composting usually takes place within small containers that have a very limited capacity. A good number of those who make the effort to do apartment composting have to struggle with the simple equation of frequent trips outdoors or a bottleneck in terms of available composting space.
  • Odors – Although some companies sell pretty good composting containers that can control odors, lots of the variable apartment composting practices that people set up can leave a housing unit smelling less than pristine. Home composting enthusiasts may have to tweak the process until they can find a way to store their organic material without smelling up the home. Freezing compost is one way to do this, but this method also has its obvious spatial limitations.
  • Rental Issues – Though some people may applaud home composters, landlords of a specific property are often less than thrilled to know that home composting is one of the things a tenant is doing in their building. This usually isn’t a huge issue, but in some cases, apartment composting can be one of those practices that leads to some damage in the unit if material leaks or causes other problems over time.

Think about these benefits and disadvantages of apartment composting when you’re considering keeping some of your garbage and making it into useful outdoor organic matter.

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