Composting Indoors

Q: I can't remember where it was at, but I have seen a place telling how to use a 2-liter bottle for making compost. Are there any other things that can be used indoors to make compost? What types of things do you put in it? I would like to make some for my house plants and for getting a garden started this spring.


A: Shanyn,

Here is a link for more information on bottle composting and some easy options for composting indoors:

Bottle Composting

Garbage Can or Bin Composting

You can do this in the garage or basement if you have the room. All you need is a plastic garbage can (metal will rust). A 50 gallon can will give you the best results. Punch enough holes in the top and sides to allow oxygen to circulate through the compost materials. Collect "green" materials from your kitchen and store them in a gallon-sized ice cream pail or large coffee can (with lid) under your sink until full enough to add to the compost can. "Green" items include foods like coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable and fruit peelings and other leftover food scraps. Don't compost meat or dairy leftovers as they will cause your bin to smell.


Each time you add these "green" items to your compost can, follow with a layer of "browns." Browns are the ingredients that control odor. They include things like shredded leaves, newspaper, sawdust, or peat moss. If possible, also toss in a handful or two of topsoil. Make sure the bin stays slightly moist (add water if necessary)and stir it with a pitch fork or old broom handle once every two weeks or so.

Anaerobic Composting (without air)

Another simple, but more time consuming method, is to compost using large freezer bags. Collect green ingredients the same way as above, and when the container under your sink is full, transfer scraps to a large freezer bag. Add brown ingredients until the bag is just half full and moisten everything with just a little bit of water. Double bag everything and date it before storing it in a warm location (like a heated porch or closet). In 6 months to 1 year, you should be able to use the oldest bags. You'll know the compost is ready if the contents looks and smells like soil. A bag opened too soon will stink!



Another popular method of indoor composting is called vericomposting (composting with worms). If you're interested in learning more about this type of composting, there are many books and website on the subject, as well as an article about it on this site.

Vermicomposting - Indoor Worm Ranching

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January 15, 20010 found this helpful

If you have a yard or garden space I would not waste my time composting in a bottle. Dump the vegetable and fruit peels directly in the garden. Save a quantity of scraps in a small container, if you don't want to empty every day, and dump when full. Meats scraps are a no no.

Syd Barr

Dunkirk, MD

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January 16, 20010 found this helpful

I use A plastic tote box with just A little dirt in it. I then went to the bait shop and bought A container of red worms. I feed them table scraps,no citrus no onion or meat.There is no odor.Keep in cool spot.If you want more info Please contact me

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February 1, 20060 found this helpful

Most towns and villages have compost piles now days. Mine (thank you God) is right in my back yard and free! People take their grass clippings, leaves and tree branches there. The town mulches the branches and turns the soil, I go with my wagon or wheelbarrel and get it! Call your village or town to see if you have one, you might find one in a neighboring town if yours does not have one. Some charge but not much. I have gotten many plants from it that people have thrown out also. I also have one in my back yard where I put my food scraps. When I go to the village compost, I usually bring back some grass clippings, mulch or whatever and put it on my little compost. During the winter, I just dump the food scraps on my gardens that I think need it the most. Please remember to try to recycle anything you can. It saves landfill space and feeds your plants!

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