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Davis, California

Monday, June 17, 2024

Ask EPPC: Composting

How can I compost in my apartment?

It may seem difficult to be eco-friendly while living in an apartment due to lack of space or unsupportive roommates, but starting your own composting bin can be simple and useful.

First, figure out what you tend to throw away that can actually be composted. According to planetgreen.com, the following items are commonly sent to the landfill, but can actually be composted: coffee grounds; tea bags; used napkins/paper towels; pizza boxes; fruit and vegetable scraps; cereal, pasta, rice, etc.; nutshells; stale beer or wine; eggshells.

And that is just to name a few! Be sure not to compost dairy products (they rot and smell awful) or meat scraps (the meat can rot and attract rodents and insects that will contaminate the compost).

Next, find a place that you can collect your items to be composted. A small bin under the sink in your kitchen works best. Punch holes in the sides of the box and place a small tarp underneath. To start your compost, add a layer of soil about 3 inches deep and then layer this with some dry bedding, like leaves, newspaper or straw. Be sure to stir the compost every week or two, and if it starts to smell, add more dry bedding. You can shred your compostables and add equal parts of dry bedding and compost in alternating layers to speed up the composting process.

You can use your compost at home in potted plants in your apartment, or you can donate it locally. Places in Davis that collect compost include the Student Farm, the E-Street Commune and the on-campus Co-ops.

If you want to learn more about composting, please visit Project Compost, a student organization on campus that gives periodic composting workshops. Check out their website at projectcompost.ucdavis.edu.

Compost – because a rind is a terrible thing to waste.

Send your questions for EPPC to margaret.link@gmail.com.

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