Composting Without A Garden


Composting food scraps is a wonderful way to reduce waste, and help create nutrient rich soil for gardening.

Food waste like your random scraps, peels, items gone bad etc. won’t properly rot and do any good in a landfill because there isn’t enough oxygen for them to decompose. When they end up in the trash they’re just that, when they could be doing good instead.

I have always wanted to do something better with our food scraps, but I don’t have a garden in our little duplex backyard in the city at this point. Then I got the idea one day that I could maybe be a buddy for someone who is making use of all of the goodness that quality compost can bring to a garden.

The call went out on Facebook for someone who wanted my scraps and resulted in a mom from Ethan’s school happy for our contribution to her compost bin!

{Full real life disclosure: After that initial contact I got morning sick with Zelie and I’m just now getting around to composting with her almost 11 months old… that’s real life but better late than never!}


I posted on our local Buy Nothing group on Facebook to see if anyone had some 5 gallon buckets with lids they didn’t want, and sure enough a woman had a couple in her garage that her daughter had decorated with tons of stickers, ribbons, and paint for cheerleading projects.

After a quick clean up of the buckets I put them under our kitchen sink.


I found “100 Things You Can (And Should) Compost” from The Small Footprint Family and started putting food scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, and more into our 5 gallon bucket. (There is certainly more that we could compost, but we’re trying to keep this amount manageable for now!)

Once a week when our friend from school is going to pick up her kids, she pops over here and grabs our full bucket. Then she returns it to me the next week when she picks up the next full bucket.


An added bonus of this is our general trash can in the kitchen smells way better than it used to!

Do you compost?

4 thoughts on “Composting Without A Garden

  1. Curious as to how the person using the compost uses it. Is her compost just for garden vegetables or does she use it for flowers too? Flowers like azaleas, roses, and gardenia’s. I had thought about composting in our back yard to aid my flowers and vegetables that I’m growing. But after reading a Gardener’s Encyclopedia and The Gardener’s Home Companion. It was advised in these books to use primarily vegetable scraps and egg shells only. It advised to avoid fats, bones, and meat scraps as wildlife scavengers would be attracted to the pile. These directions were for one composting in a hole in the ground. Since composting bins can be costly, at least for me. Does this other person have one of those compost bins you have to turn? If so what kind? Is that why she uses all kitchen scraps, since animals can’t get into the container?
    The books were discussing on of the key elements in hot composting is to get a balance between high-nitrogen and high-carbon ingredients. Is this something, again just for if you do it in a hole in the ground?
    I was worried to start a compost pile because of attracting unwanted critters. Could you please tell us more on the composting side from your friend as to how she does it? If she composts in the ground, how often does she turn the pile? I want to start composting but it appears labor intensive. Thank you


    1. I’ll ask her if she can pop over here and answer your questions. I don’t think though that she is necessarily using only kitchen scraps, that’s simply what I’m providing her with. I’m curious about her answers to all of this!


  2. This is a great idea! We just moved to a city where we have to pay for our garbage pick up per bag so this seems like a good way to cut down on that cost. (Your post about cloth diapers also inspired me to get my stash back in order to save money both ways there!)


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