The answer is....yes!
Numbers from Statistics Canada show that composting is on the rise in Canada, with 61 per cent of all households participating in some form of composting – that's nearly double the rate that composted in 1994.
But homeowners aren't the only ones who can take advantage of the composting phenomenon. If you rent, you can still do your part to help keep excess food out of landfills.
So - what CAN you compost? Here's what the Urban Organic Gardener has to say:
Common greens you have at home that can be composted:
- Fruit and veggie scraps. Avoid onions and citrus. Yes, they can be composted, but for your indoor compost bin it's best to stay away.
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
- Grass clippings. Only if the grass hasn't been treated with chemical fertilizers.
- Plain cooked rice or pasta
- Stale crackers, bread, cereal or pretzels
- Old herbs and spices
- Egg shells. Not really a green, but they can be composted
Common browns you have at home that can be composted:
- Cardboard including boxes and toilet paper rolls
- Dryer lint
- Dried leaves
- Shredded black and white newspaper
- Hair from your brush. Make sure there is no gel or hairspray in it
- Shredded bills and documents
Now that you have a rough idea of what you can compost, how do you get started? We will leave it to the experts at Apartment Therapy to explain that:
1. Choose a location for your indoor compost bin. We used the space under the sink because it was in the kitchen, locked to protect tiny hands and large enough to keep a decent family sized compost.
2. Think about what you'd like to keep your compost in. You can use plastic boxes, metal containers, garbage bins or buckets... get creative and customize it to your use taste and your space, but consider: it will need to be covered. You might need to swap it out for a new one while it composts and you'll need to store it somewhere!
3. Once you have your container you'll need to punch holes in it. What your using will determine what tools you need. We chose a metal garbage bin so we used a drill. Note: when we took the photos we only put holes in the bottom but later found that we needed a few holes around the rim as well.
4. Cover your tray with newspaper and put the compost bin onto the tray.
5. Now add dirt! Again it's about the size of the container and how much use it's going to get. We added a layer of soil about four inches deep.
6. Next step. Add a layer of dry stuff, in this case newspaper, and you're ready to go!
How To Use Your Compost Bin
1. Add your food scraps as you get them. It's an indoor bin so making them as small as possible will benefit you in the long run.
2. You want to keep the wet/dry balance so add a small handful of shredded newspaper when you add scraps.
3. Once a week you'll need to mix the compost and add a half scoop of new soil.