How to Compost Without a Compost Bin

how to compost in an apartment

Not all of us have land or space on our property suitable for a compost bin. Here’s how to compost without a compost bin, in your very own kitchen.

I grew up in a household where we had our own compost bin – or I should say bins – out the back, where we would tip in our daily food scraps. Now that I’ve moved out and currently renting, owning my own compost bin just isn’t feasible.

For those of you who, too, find composting to reduce your food waste not practical or feasible because you’re renting a property, moving around frequently, living in an apartment or have no lease or ownership of the land you live on, I got you.

I give you: The Urban Composter. The idea: Compost in your kitchen.

This handy solution sits on your benchtop all day long, breaking down your kitchen scraps into preconditioned scraps for faster composting right in front of your very eyes.

I bought my Urban Composter from Biome, a completely plastic-free, palm oil-free, natural store, who stock eco-friendly sunscreens, natural deodorant, compostable kitchen appliances, stainless steel bottles, Tupperware and more! They believe “the daily choices you make have the power to transform our world, and by living in harmony with our planet and all who share it, we empower ourselves, enrich our lives and enhance our wellbeing.” Biome is focused on sharing information and products with both individuals and businesses who want to reduce their impact and protect the planet.

Their mission, ‘To preserve a safe, healthy environment on this wonderous planet for now, and for those who come after us.’

Kitchen Composting

I have the Urban Composter Bokashi Compost Starter Kit, containing the 16L Chilli-coloured bin.

They come in a range of colours, and have a couple of different sizes; the smaller bucket (City Composter), sits on the bench, and the larger bucket (Urban Composter) can be used to empty the scraps into as the small bucket fills up – it’s great to keep food scraps in while the other bucket ferments, or alternatively, if both buckets are full and fermenting, you can store new scraps in the freezer.

how to compost without a bin
how to compost without a bin
how to compost without a bin

Here’s how to compost with the Urban Composter.

  1. Screw the tap on tight, and make sure the filter is in place at the bottom. To double check it’s on tight enough, do a water test. No water should leak out the bottom if screwed on well enough.
  2. Place a napkin or paper towel on the bottom of the bin, over the strainer, to prevent tap blockages.
  3. Cut up your scraps – veggies, fruit, meat, dairy, citrus, onions, eggs, breads, cereals, coffee grounds, small bones, etc. – into small pieces before you throw them in the bucket. Avoid liquids and rotten foods.
  4. Spray about 2-4 squirts of compost accelerator on top of the scraps each time scraps are added, then seal the lid – make sure it’s tight. A tip from Ethically Kate: Sprinkle a little sugar on the scraps once you’ve used the spray. This helps with microbe growth and reduces odour.
  5. Empty the tap each day or every two days, dilute this juice/liquid with water, and pour on your plants – they LOVE it. Alternatively, this juice can be flushed down the sink to help clean drains.
  6. Empty your bin every 12-14 days (particularly in summer) into an outdoor compost bin (if you have one), bury in the garden or find someone who needs the compost at ShareWaste.

Some cities collect organic waste from homes, schools, businesses, and restaurants. They then process it and return the finished product back to local farmers and gardeners to use on their plants. To find out if this service is available to you, call your waste collector or enter your postal code at Other wonderful composting services available include:

  • We Compost: They’re a New Zealand-run company who can collect everything that is compostable, straight from your doorstep, event venue, or restaurant back door. Food scraps, compostable packaging… anything (see here for more about We Compost).
  • ShareWaste: Connecting people who need to compost their scraps (donors), with those who have a compost available (hosts)!
  • Positive Waste: Are an Australian food waste recovery initiative designed to help households, councils and organisations dispose of the food waste properly. If you’re a household joining, they provide you with a kitchen caddie and compostable corn starch bags, and once full, you pop your scraps bag in your food waste wheelie bin and they’ll come and collect it!
  • Community gardens: These places will often take your food scraps to use as fertiliser for their plants (just inquire beforehand). You can find the nearest community garden to you by searching on Google or Ecosia.
  • Black compost bins are often found second-hand on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, etc.
  • Rotating composters: These best for renters or if you come across a lot of pests in your area. They can be found second-hand or new at places like Bunnings.

I only work with brands I love and actually use. This is not a sponsored blog, I’m just a fan. It’s 100% my own words, photos, and opinion.

Kitchen composting tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post. 

Have you composted before? What’s your favourite way to reduce food waste? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

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