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Composting Basics for Renters

Chesapeake Renter Peeling a Cucumber Near a Compost PailAs a renter, you might not think about composting your kitchen scraps. And besides, composting isn’t a possibility unless you possess a sizable garden. Right?

The fact is that even if you have a little space, there is still a significant reason to compost your kitchen scraps. What’s more, it’s simple for renters to compost, even without a big yard or garden! Compost is great for all kinds of uses and can help you live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

This guide explains the basics of composting, incorporating what it is, why people do it, and how to get started.

What is composting?

In the most basic terms, composting is the process of breaking down organic materials into a rich soil amendment. This “amendment” can then be used to improve the quality of your garden soil, help your plants grow, and even act as a natural fertilizer.

When you compost, you’re essentially imitating nature’s process of breaking down organic matter. By doing this, you’re creating a product that is good for the environment and extremely useful for lots of green, growing things!

Why compost?

There are several benefits to compost, but one of the most significant is that it decreases the quantity of waste that is dumped into landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste and yard trimmings make up more than 20 percent of what is dumped into landfills annually. These materials can take years to break down.

Another major benefit of composting is that it helps improve the quality of your garden soil. Compost enriches the soil with nutrients that plants need to grow, and it helps improve the soil’s structure, making it better prepared to retain water and resist pests and diseases.

What can be composted?

Many kinds of organic matter can be composted, including food scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard trimmings, and even paper towels and cardboard. You can even compost pet hair and used kitty litter. (For a complete list of what can and cannot be composted, see this helpful guide from the EPA.)

How do I start composting?

Numerous Chesapeake renters are unaware that they can compost their food waste at home. By composting, you may lessen your garbage production and help the environment. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you going:

  • If needed, communicate with your landlord or Chesapeake property manager about acquiring permission to compost on the premises.
  • You might be able to utilize a community compost bin if you reside in an apartment or condo. Check with your building management to find out.
  • If you don’t have a large yard or patio, think about obtaining a small compost bin to keep your food waste in until you’re ready to dispose of it properly. You can purchase these bins at most hardware stores or online.
  • Commence putting your food waste in a container. You can use a kitchen garbage can, a plastic storage bin, or even a grocery bag.
  • When your container is full, carry it to your compost bin and add it to the pile. It is important to mix it in thoroughly so that it breaks down
  • After your food waste has broken down, you can use it as fertilizer for your plants or donate it to a local community garden.

Composting is an ideal method to reduce your environmental impact, save stress on your garbage disposal, and save money on fertilizer and potting soil. By following these tips, you can get started composting today!


Are you in the market for a new rental home – maybe one with a bigger yard or garden? If so, look through our listings online to find your next home.

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