Its unlikely anyone could argue with the notion of returning kitchen scraps and even yard waste back into soil as being intelligent. The process of doing so though isn’t convenient or easy and leaves a lot of people continuing to toss it all in the trash can or down the garbage disposal. For the millions of city apartment dwellers out there, the utter lack of a place for a backyard composting setup is totally out of the question.

Thirteen percent of the trash picked up in the USA is food waste that could have been made useful rather than sent to a landfill. The percentage of other trash the garbage man hauls away like paper and wood products that could be composted is unknown, but judging by the sheer volume of junk mail the postal service brings its got to be close to equal to food at the very least. Hmm… that’s like 25% of the trash picked up weekly. It would be a mountain of new soil over the period of a year.

You can compost indoors and even right in the kitchen. No, it doesn’t involve an ugly Rubbermaid tub and it can even be quite stylish, not to mention very compact. Even the smallest apartment has room for one of these indoor composting systems. Here they are from the least expensive to the pricier alternatives:

Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector

Fresh Air ComposterCompost piles created outdoors need heat, air and moisture to work. Unlike the other two methods used for indoor composters, this one uses air flow and not fermentation or worms to work. While you’ll find all kinds of composting crocks and bins that go by the same aerobic decomposition principle, this is the only one that is odorless. The patented system is also free of flies and made from mostly recycled stainless steel and plastic.

There are some drawbacks here. The unit is very inexpensive, but it works slower than other types of compost bins, it has less capacity at 1.54 gallons, and you have to buy new composting bags. The bags aren’t costly, but you have to keep ordering more of them ahead of your needs. Kind of impractical, but it isn’t stinky like fermentation and there aren’t any worms involved, still you won’t get the added benefit of compost tea or worm tea. ┬áIt retails for about $3o from several online stores and the replacement bags run $5.50 on Amazon.

All Seasons Indoor Composter

All Seasons ComposterMade from mostly recycled plastic, this 5-gallon capacity bucket style composter is air tight so there won’t be any smell. The system gets a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, so you should be pretty safe in buying one and getting the desired results.

It comes with a bag of starter and rather than involving worms, this one works on the Bokashi fermenting basis. Just add scraps and you’re good to go. The strainer drains off the moisture from the food waste into a lower bin with a spigot for draining off the compost tea to use in liquid feeding plants. It currently retails for less than $40 on Amazon, but suggest retail seems to be about $70.

Worm Factory 360

Worm Farm 360Some might be a bit squeamish about having worms in the kitchen, but they are totally contained and eager to go to work for you. This can be placed indoors or outdoors, though you won’t want your worms freezing to death in the winter. It should be indoors if temperatures drop to 40F or lower. Super simple to set up, you’ll love it’s ease to care for requiring only 15 minutes of your time once a week.

Available in 3 popular colors, it comes with 3 food scrap trays and 1 for your worms. It is designed with a worm tea collector in the bottom accessed via a spigot and the kit includes tools you need to succeed and maintain the vermicomposting system. You can also add more trays, it expands to up to 8 to give you the largest vermicomposter available. It is designed to be odorless and can house a lot of kitchen waste in a very small space. You’ll find it priced at $109 online and also at Walmart, though there are retailers who sell this odor free indoor composter for more.

Which Is Best?

I’d go with the Worm Factory 360. The other two are useless during canning season and not expandable.

Composting Isn’t Trendy – It’s Necessary

With Canada having 30% of all collected trash being organic and compostable, and the US depositing 34 million tons of food waste in landfills every year, it is curious that people wonder where all the good soil has gone. To the dump, obviously. Tossed out like a used Kleenex.

Soil isn’t disposable. It has to be regenerated. What comes from the soil needs to return to the soil. That’s how Nature makes soil that is rich in nutrients and microorganisms.

Amber

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.