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  • Writer's pictureValinda

Transform Waste Into Fertile Soil - 10+ Best Apartment Composter Bins

Updated: Jun 4

Are you passionate about living green but don't have the space for a full-size compost bin in your yard? To help reduce waste, you can still make a difference indoors with composting. Indoor composting is a simple and efficient way to naturally turn food scraps into fertilizer for your houseplants or garden. Not only does it help reduce waste, but it also gives you a unique way to nourish your plants and garden. By composting your food scraps and other organic waste, you can keep valuable nutrients out of the landfill and put them back into the soil where they belong and thrive. Plus, indoor composting is a convenient option for those who want to compost year-round. With a few simple tools and some basic know-how, you can turn your kitchen scraps into a rich and healthy soil amendment that will help your plants thrive. So, if you're ready to give indoor composting a try, read on!

What is the difference between Biodegradable and Compostable

In the quest for a more sustainable lifestyle, we often look for labels like "biodegradable" and "compostable" to make informed purchases. But did you know that these seemingly interchangeable terms can have vastly different implications for the environment? While both suggest a reduction in waste, the key differences between biodegradable and compostable lie in how and how quickly they break down. In this article, we'll explore these differences and why they matter for a more sustainable future. So buckle up and get ready to delve into the world of biodegradable and compostable products!

compost bin with food scraps

How do Biodegradable and Compostable Materials Benefit the Environment?

In a world where environmental concerns are at an all-time high, it's more important than ever to understand how our everyday choices impact the planet. That's where biodegradable and compostable materials come in. By breaking down naturally over time, these materials help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, where it can take centuries to decompose. Plus, when these materials do break down, they release valuable nutrients back into the earth, which can help nourish future generations of plants and animals. And perhaps most importantly, by choosing biodegradable and compostable options, we're actively reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources and helping to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.

What is Biodegradable

At first glance, the definition of biodegradability may seem quite simple. “Bio” part hints that such a product can naturally break down with the help of bacteria, fungi, or other biological processes.

That’s a good start, isn’t it? However, there are many details to take into consideration. Practically, nearly everything can degrade and fall apart. Even well-known polluters such as plastic or diapers will eventually break down, but it could take hundreds of years.

Therefore, time is an important criterion to consider. A product or material can be considered truly biodegradable if it can quickly break down into harmless particles with no human intervention. “Quickly” can be defined differently, but anything up to a year is usually satisfactory. If it takes more time, it’s degradable, but not biodegradable.

Another aspect to consider is how well can a material break down. For instance, plant-based plastic is usually considered biodegradable. While it can break down naturally, it relies heavily on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity level. In unsuitable conditions, it will lose its ability to degrade quickly and will be as harmful to the environment as regular plastic. Since biodegradation is an unsupervised sensitive process, in some cases materials can also leave toxic waste behind.

As a rule of thumb, every plant-based, animal-based, or natural-mineral based product is biodegradable. Many people are not aware of that and assume only food and plants are biodegradable, but in reality, the list is much longer. Even though they take more time to break down to a microscopic level, such things as paper bags or cardboard boxes can be biodegradable as well.

food waste in compost bin

What does Compostable Mean?

In a way, composting is a special type of biodegradation that is done by humans and can only be applied to organic products. Unlike biodegradation that can leave toxic residue, the end result of composting is actually useful for the environment. Compost, decomposed organic waste, can be used as a fertilizer.

Although the terms are often confused, compostable materials aren’t always biodegradable and vice versa. Compostable products will not necessarily break down quickly unless they are placed in specific conditions. On the other hand, in a special composting environment with certain air, sunlight and air conditions, they will break down in less than 90 days and leave no harmful residue.

Compostable materials are a great way to not only minimize the harm you do to the environment but also improve the conditions of the soil. By supplying it with nutrients, compost improves the soil’s structure and water retention thus aiding plant growth. Although composting in industrial conditions is extremely important, doing it at home is also a good step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Many house owners make compost piles in their backyards, but there are compact indoor solutions for apartment owners as well.

Compostable vs biodegradable

What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?

While composting is a relatively easy-to-understand concept, biodegradability doesn’t have a universal legal definition. That’s part of the reason why the terms are confused so often.

Whether we can consider something biodegradable largely depends on the time it takes to break down. That, in turn, is defined by the conditions in which the process takes place. But in some cases the process is unsupervised, so there’s no control over it.

Composting is, essentially, optimized biodegradation. It creates perfect conditions so that products can break down in a fast and non-toxic manner. However, not every biodegradable product can be composted. A product not suitable for composting can take longer to break down, which can disrupt the composting cycle.

Finally, the term compostability refers to the product’s ability to be turned into compost and thus help the environment in a short amount of time. Biodegradability, on the other hand, only means that in the right conditions the material can quickly degrade through a biological process.

Why does it matter?

Both these terms are used to label the products that are designed to do less harm to the environment. However, misunderstanding of what they mean can bring dangerous consequences. The biggest mistake we make is assuming that just buying such a product will make a difference. In some cases it might be true - the production of biodegradable products is usually more sustainable, but the promises these terms bring can only be fulfilled if we discard the products properly. So it’s the consumers’ responsibility, not the companies’.

Due to the amount of trash and low oxygen content, landfills can have horrific conditions for biodegradation. In such an environment biodegradation will happen anaerobically, meaning it will produce methane gas, which is 25 times more potent than CO2. So, if you don’t take your time to dispose of your biodegradable waste in an optimal way, the label will completely lose its meaning and benefits.

Similarly, a compostable product is a product that can and should be composted. But you have to make sure it happens! Check the labels to see if your product is suitable for at-home composting or needs to be taken to a facility. Unfortunately, there’s still not enough composting infrastructure and you might not have one nearby.

outdoor compost fill with food scraps

How should we dispose of biodegradable and compostable materials?

As consumers, we're becoming more and more aware of the environmental impact of our actions. That's why we often seek out products that are labeled as biodegradable or compostable – we want to do our part to reduce waste and keep the planet healthy. But once we've finished using these products, what's the best way to dispose of them? For compostable materials, the answer is relatively straightforward. These items can be safely tossed into your household compost bin or buried in your backyard. As for biodegradable materials, the process is a bit more complicated. Biodegrading requires specific conditions to work properly, including the right balance of organic material and oxygen. So, biodegradable items need to be taken to an industrial composting facility, where they can be broken down efficiently. So, if you want to dispose of your biodegradable and compostable products responsibly, be sure to do know the material and choose the right disposal method for each item.

Benefits of Indoor Composting

Composting is a simple yet incredibly effective way to help the environment but there are more benefits to composting

  • It is an eco-friendly way of managing your organic waste.

  • You reduce your carbon footprint as there is less waste ending up in landfill which reduces your greenhouse gas emission.

  • You create nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants. This improves both the quality and yield of your garden plants.

  • You create a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations.

Apartment Composter Bins

What can be Composted?

Have you ever thought about composting your food and household items? Not only does it create nutrient-filled soil for your plants, but it also removes a whopping 30% of household waste from your garbage can.

To make sure your compost pile is successful, you need to know about green/nitrogen items and brown/carbon items. Green items, which are protein-rich matter, should make up one-third of your compost pile. However, too much nitrogen can cause your pile to smell sour, so it's important to get the balance just right. Green items include fruits, vegetables, grass clippings, fresh flowers, and even coffee grounds.

On the other hand, brown items are rich in carbon and give your compost pile a light, fluffy body. Two-thirds of your compost pile should consist of brown items because they counteract the nitrogen, which expands rather quickly. Brown items include napkins and paper towels, natural fabrics, eggshells, and even dryer lint.

What should NOT be composted?

Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. However, not all materials are suitable for your compost pile, and some can even be hazardous to the soil and plants you plan to use your compost on.

  • Pet droppings, for example, contain harmful diseases and organisms that can make your compost toxic to handle. Similarly, meat, bones, fats, and dairy can overheat the compost pile and create unpleasant odors that attract animals.

  • Diseased plants can also be a problem for your compost pile. It's best to dispose of them in a regular waste container, as they need a high temperature and several weeks to kill off the diseased material.

  • When it comes to paper, regular paper can be a great addition to your brown/carbon materials, but colored paper should be avoided. Some colored paper, such as newspapers and magazines, contains heavy metals and other toxic materials that can harm your compost pile.

  • Finally, keep any pesticides or herbicides from your lawn or garden out of your compost pile, as they won't break down properly.

How to stop compost from smelling

Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. However, if you're noticing a bad smell coming from your compost pile, likely, something isn't quite right.

Typically, compost should smell like nothing more than wet dirt. If your compost smells bad, it may be due to too much nitrogen-based material. These are usually green items as they contain too much moisture. Combine this with not enough mixing and a funky smell, like ammonia or sewage may occur. To balance out your base, add brown items to your compost pile.

If you haven't been mixing your pile enough, the compost can smell like rotting eggs. In this case, it's important to turn the compost pile to give it some air to breathe. Adding more dry materials to soak up the excess moisture is also a good idea.

Composting doesn't have to be smelly, and with a little bit of attention, you can have a pile that smells like fresh, nutrient-rich dirt. Remember to balance your compost pile with brown and green materials, mix it regularly, and keep an eye on the moisture levels. Your garden will thank you for it!

Best Apartment Composter bins

Electric composting bins

Electric composting bins are an innovative and eco-friendly solution for individuals looking to reduce their carbon footprint and create nutrient-rich compost for their gardens. These high-tech bins utilize advanced technology to accelerate the decomposition process, transforming kitchen scraps and yard waste into usable compost in just a matter of hours to days. Electric composting bins are easy to use and require minimal maintenance, making them a convenient option for busy homeowners. Plus, their sleek and modern design adds a touch of sophistication to any kitchen.


Say goodbye to traditional outdoor composting with the world's first smart waste kitchen composter bin, Lomi Bundle by Pela Earth. Lomi is an electric, easy-to-use compost bin designed for indoor use, allowing you to transform your food and waste into nutrient-rich compost right on your kitchen countertop. With Lomi's advanced technology, you can produce compost in under 24 hours, making it a quick and efficient way to reduce your carbon footprint. The compact size of Lomi makes it the perfect addition to any kitchen. Plus, Lomi has a simple touch interface that allows you to start, stop, and monitor the composting process with a simple push of a button.

Apartment Composter Bins - lomi

Vitamix FoodCycler

Introducing the Vitamix FoodCycler - the ultimate solution to your food waste problems! With its impressive 2L capacity, it can handle most table and refrigerator scraps, including chicken bones, and convert them into nutrient-rich fertilizer in just a few hours. This innovative gadget cuts down the volume of food waste by up to 90%, making it perfect for those who care about the environment. The FoodCycler is also incredibly user-friendly, with a simple 4-8 hour processing time and an easy-to-use button. Plus, it's flexible enough to be placed anywhere in your home, and with its compact size, it can be easily stored away when not in use. With its carbon filtration system, you don't have to worry about any unpleasant odors - this gadget is perfect for indoor use. So, if you want to do your part in reducing food waste and creating a more sustainable future, the Vitamix FoodCycler is the perfect addition to your home.

Apartment Composter Bins - vitamix

Homaz life Electric Kitchen Composter bin

If you're looking for an easy and convenient way to reduce your environmental impact, the Homaz life Electric Kitchen Composter may be just what you need. This smart waste compost machine is designed to be used indoors on your kitchen countertop, making it perfect for those who live in small apartments or don't have a yard for a traditional composter bin. With the push of a button, you can start recycling your food waste and turn it into nutrient-rich soil in just four hours. The 4.5-liter capacity of the treatment bucket means you can recycle a larger amount of waste every cycle, and the bucket is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Best of all, composting with Homaz life means saying goodbye to fruit flies and unpleasant odors, and hello to a more sustainable future.

Apartment Composter Bins - homaz

Regular composting bins

Bamboo Fiber Composter Bin

Looking for an eco-friendly and convenient way to manage your organic waste? Meet your new kitchen essential: the countertop compost bin! Made from sustainable bamboo fiber and a bamboo handle, this bin can hold up to 1.25 gallons of compost, providing the perfect storage solution for your food scraps before they are transferred to your outdoor compost bin or city collection site. Not only is it durable and moisture-resistant, but it is also heat-tolerant and dishwasher safe, making it super easy to clean. Plus, its compact size takes up little space on your countertop and makes it easy to transport. This compost bin is not only functional but also environmentally friendly, as it is made using excess raw materials from fast-growing bamboo.

Apartment Composter Bins - bamboo fiber

Fresh Air Compost Bin

If you've ever been hesitant to start composting because of the mess and smell, the Fresh Air Full Circle Compost Bin might just be the solution you've been looking for. With its patented design, this bin minimizes airflow while maximizing decomposition, resulting in a clean and almost odorless composting experience. What's more, emptying the bin is as easy as pushing a button, making the process quick and hassle-free. And with every order, you'll receive 5 compostable bags to get you started right away. But that's not all. Full Circle, the company behind the bin, is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. As a B Corp Certified company, they meet strict standards that demonstrate their dedication to protecting our planet. Additionally, Full Circle partners with Plastic Bank to reduce, reuse, and offset the plastic they use in their products and packaging, making them plastic-neutral.

Apartment Composter Bins - fresh air compost bin

EcoCrock Counter Compost

Looking for a compost bin that's as stylish as it is functional? Check out this sleek and modern 3-liter ceramic countertop compost bin! With its vented lid, removable inner bucket, and replaceable natural charcoal filter, this bin is the perfect way to keep your kitchen clean and odor-free while composting all your food scraps. The dual bucket design with a built-in handle makes it easy to slide out scraps without any mess or hassle, while the tapered bucket allows for easy cleanup in just a few seconds. From shaved brussel sprouts to banana peels, and onion scraps to apple cores, this bin can handle all your compostable delights. And when it's time to clean up, the inner bucket is top-rack dishwasher safe, while the outer ceramic can be simply rinsed with hot water and wiped clean.

Apartment Composter Bins - ecocrock

All Seasons Indoor Composter

This beginner-friendly kit includes everything you need to get started, including a 5-gallon countertop compost bin with a strainer and spigot, and a gallon of compost starter. Composting has never been easier - simply scrape your food scraps into the compost pail, sprinkle a layer of bokashi compost starter to reduce odor and break down food, and close the lid. Repeat at each meal, and watch as your food waste turns into nutrient-rich compost.

One of the best things about the All Seasons Indoor Composter Starter Kit is that it can be used all year round, no matter the weather. Even during the freezing winter months, you can still kickstart the composting process from the comfort of your home, without having to make daily trips to an outdoor composter bin.

Apartment Composter Bins - all seasons indoor composter

OXO Compost Bin

Make composting a breeze with the OXO Good Grips Compost Bin. Designed to fit neatly on your kitchen countertop, this bin features a unique design that keeps composting bags tucked inside for a clean and organized appearance. The 1.75-gallon/6.62-liter capacity is perfect for busy kitchens, while the stay-open lid makes it easy to toss in scraps while you work. The soft-close lid ensures that odor and pests are contained, while the smooth interior makes cleaning a breeze. Even without using bags, the bin is easy to clean. The convenient handle makes it easy to transport, and the handle can be folded down when not in use. The internal bucket is also removable and dishwasher-safe for hassle-free cleaning of your composting bin.

Apartment Composter Bins - oxo compost bin

Bamboozle Kitchen Compost Bin

Transform your kitchen waste into rich compost for your garden with our bamboo fiber compost bin. This stylish and sustainable bin is conveniently sized to fit on your countertop, making it easy to compost as you cook. Made from biodegradable bamboo fiber, this eco-friendly bin is dishwasher safe and comes with a replaceable charcoal filter that can last up to 2 months. When it's time to dispose of your compost, the bin material breaks down cleanly, making it an eco-friendly option for your home.

Apartment Composter Bins - bamboozle kitchen compost

Simplehuman Compost Caddy

Looking for a convenient and space-efficient way to compost your kitchen waste? Look no further than Simplehuman's Kitchen Composter! This clever compost caddy hangs neatly on the side of your trash can and can be easily detached for use on your kitchen counter during food prep and clean-up. Its magnetic docking system securely attaches to the side of rectangular or slim liner rim trash cans, and its lid can be kept open while in use thanks to powerful magnets. But the real magic of this composter bin lies in its ability to minimize odors and keep pests at bay. Its soft-seal lid lets food scraps breathe, reducing unpleasant smells and keeping fruit flies and other pests away. Plus, its removable inner bucket makes dumping compost and cleaning a breeze.

Apartment Composter Bins - simplehuman compost caddy

In conclusion, indoor composting is a great way to reduce your environmental impact while improving your garden’s soil health. Not only can you turn your food scraps into valuable compost, but you can use it to reduce your reliance on chemical-laden fertilizer and improve the health of your soil. With the right tools and a little bit of time, you’ll be able to easily turn food scraps and garden waste into beneficial soil amendments. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’re able to reduce your waste, and you’ll be helping the planet in the process.

More about Composting


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Meet Valinda

Hi there, I am the founder of the green and happy mom blog and green and happy shop. After battling severe depression, I am determined to make the world a little better and I want to take you along that journey with me. 

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