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Composting in an Apartment


April 15, 2020

Zip code: 87124 Brief description: At this time I have no setup at all. I want to start a compost to help reduce and reuse kitchen waste.  However I live in an apartment with only a small porch.  I have been researching tumblers and wanted to know a few things.

1. Are there any brand's you recommend? Our climate is unique and I have a south facing porch.

2. Are there any restrictions I should be aware of? I live in Sandoval county, I am on the second floor, and my porch is made of wood slats with 1 inch holes between each slat. Thank you,


Answer by RR:  Your questions will be received by other master composter colleagues who may also respond. Here are my thoughts: I would not recommend a compost tumbler on a second floor porch facing south for several reasons: 1) most tumblers have a lot of air holes, which, combined with a south exposure, will encourage evaporation – you’ll need to keep adding water to keep it moist enough for decomposition; 2) one of the issues with tumblers is emptying them, it can be fairly messy, something your downstairs neighbors might not appreciate; 3) depending on how big your porch is, a tumbler might take up more space than you would like.

However, there are two options that can work well for you: vermicomposting (composting with worms) and Bokashi.  These can both be done indoors or outdoors. But with a southern exposure, you might be better off doing them inside, unless you have some good shade. Ideal conditions for Bokashi are 70 – 100 degrees F, and for worms it’s 55 – 79 degrees F soil temp. We offer classes in both of these styles of composting, but unfortunately, our classes are on hold pending some relief from the coronavirus restrictions.  Not to worry though because we also have information on both of these on our website.  See Bokashi under Composting Info in our website menu.  Also there is a wealth of information on both of these on the internet.

Thanks for your interest in composting and reducing waste. I strongly recommend attending our free classes once they start again.  Happy Composting!

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