Composting on apartment balcony - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-28-2007, 08:57 AM
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Hi everyone! I'd like to start a small compost bin on the balcony of my apartment. I'm not sure how to start, though. Do I have to get worms? (I'd prefer not to). My balcony is very small but there are only 2 people living here. You can throw any plant food scraps in there, right? What about grains? Do you start the bin with dirt? I'm totally clueless.



Any links or tips would be appreciated.
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#2 Old 04-29-2007, 03:11 PM
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I was actually thinking the same thing a few days ago...

When I was little a neighbor had one for their garden. It was just a tall plastic (or maybe it was metal? NOT wood) bin with a mouth on the side to throw stuff in (the top was covered to keep out rain) and then a sliding door at the bottom to shovel out the decomposed stuff at the lowest levels. I have no idea how to go about making one for a porch.



I'm pretty sure you don't need worms or bugs of any kind, it'll decompose itself, although be sure to expect tons of fruitflies as pets.
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#3 Old 04-29-2007, 03:17 PM
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It's probably not a good idea. Your neighbors might not like it very much.
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#4 Old 04-29-2007, 03:42 PM
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The balconies are spaced quite far apart, and I've heard that when properly handled, compost doesn't smell.



I've been doing some research and it seems quite doable, even for a small apartment. I'll keep posted on my progress.
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#5 Old 04-29-2007, 04:45 PM
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Do your neighbors have any windows close to your balcony?
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#6 Old 04-30-2007, 04:00 PM
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Hey Medesha!



Good for you for thinking of starting to compost! I really want to start this at some point too. I have a friend who lives in an apartment complex and her girlfriend bought a composter and had it outside in the back of the complex and people kept throwing trash in it so I think putting it on your balcony is a great idea. Done properly, from everything I've read, it wouldn't stink. But I think I've also read that you do need (in order to do it right) buy some sort of product/bin that's designed for composting.



Here's some links I've found ...

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product/09-0206

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product/14-0020

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product/14-0147

http://www.denvergov.org/recoth/Comp...4/Default.aspx



As to questions about what to put in there ...

Here's some articles ...

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/gai_cont...icle%5Fid=2600

http://www.denvergov.org/recoth/Comp...9/Default.aspx

http://pathtofreedom.com/resources/i...d=24&Itemid=23

http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopE...n/wantcomp.htm

http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopE...den/worms2.htm



maybe check out gaiam's website as they sell a lot of composting products and accessories and they may have some stuff posted about how to get started ... http://community.gaiam.com/



Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
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#7 Old 04-30-2007, 05:43 PM
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Thanks! A guy at work is really big on composting and gardening (I work at an organic food store) and he thinks I'll be able to build one that will look just like a wooden box about the size of a milk crate. I'm going to ask my dad for a hand since he's good with tools and stuff. Hopefully it'll look like an ordinary wooden box and nothing more...mwa ha ha!



I will keep you posted on my progress. I just hate the thought of my produce scraps going to waste, especially since my household recently became 100% vegan.



I'm going to grow some lettuce and herbs in planters on my balcony too, so I'll actually use the compost. Maybe some beans too, I haven't decided yet.
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#8 Old 04-30-2007, 05:52 PM
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Way to go! I think it's a great idea. I've had a compost... pile for a while. It never bothered our neighbors. What would you do with the finished product? As long as it is well aerated, not meat, oil or dairy you shouldn't have to worry about smells. if you can get a few hand fulls of leaves or something to cover it you should be fine.



Try to Google apartment composting. Tons o' info.



Good luck,

Rebbecca
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#9 Old 04-30-2007, 06:08 PM
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It took me a minute to post... Sorry Medesha I didn't see what you had just written!
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#10 Old 05-01-2007, 05:48 AM
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i've thought a lot about this too. (i also live in an apt and would like to compost).



if you're doing outdoor compost, you don't need worms--and if you live in a place that gets cold in the winter they will dye anyway. if you don't have worms you just need to make sure you "aerate" the compost yourself, on a regular basis.



that said, i think wormy composts do work better and you can do them indoors--like in a cabinet under the sink. i've looked at things like this:



altho you can build them yourself, you just need to remember to drill air holes and drainage holes.



i've heard much better reviews about worm composting than non-worm composting so if you have room for something like that actually indoors (or you live ina place that never freezes...) that is what i would go with.
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