Compost at home without a yard

Compost: Home Composting Without a Yard

Home composting is a great way to keep food scraps out of your trash bin.  There are several methods for composting at home and different types of composting containers.  If you are one of the few fortunate people who live in an area that has a composting facility, put that to use too.  Some plants can compost materials that we can’t use in our home compost bin.

You can also compost using worms!  I think worm composting (also called vermicomposting) is a great idea….if I was ready to handle them.  We’ll talk about composting without red wigglers instead.

How do you compost at home without a yard?


Home composting is easy!  As  Paraxxs5512 demonstrates in his YouTube video:


All you need is a clean bucket.  Add dried leaves, or a dead plant, or a plant you don’t want anymore.  Then add in about a cup of coffee ground (not fresh coffee grounds since it has high acidity).  Pour water into the bucket until damp.  And mix with hands!  Easy!  Keep adding things to it and turning it. 


What to put into your compost container.

There are a few things you need to know, like what you can and can’t put into your container.   The necessary ingredients in composting are browns, greens, and water. Let’s break it down:

Browns (this provides carbon):

  • Dead leaves
  • Hay
  • Straw
  • Shredded paper: newspaper, bills, used paper towels, tissue (avoid glossy and highly colored paper)
  • Cardboards: break cardboards into small pieces and make it into a slurry
  • Eggshells (not whole eggs)
  • Tea bags
  • Corncobs

Greens (this provides nitrogen):

  • Grass clippings
  • Vegetable
  • Fruit
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea
  • Plants and plant cuttings
  • Hair


Water is an essential part helps organisms thrive.  It helps your scraps become usable compost quickly.  Too much or too little water will hinder the process of decomposition.  The perfect consistency is similar to a wet sponge wrung out.

It’s better to add small pieces to help quicken the process of decomposition.  You will need to turn (or mix) the container once a week with a shovel (or your hands).


What you don’t put into your home composting bin:


  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs (can be harmful to plants)
  • Coral or charcoal ash (can be toxic to plants)
  • Dairy products and whole eggs (creates odor and attracts pests)
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants (don’t want that to transfer to other plants)
  • Fat, grease, lard or oils (builds odor and attracts pests)
  • Meat or fish bones (creates odor and attracts pests)
  • Pet waste (might contain parasites, germs, bacterias, viruses harmful to humans)
  • Yard material with chemical pesticides (might kill beneficial composting organisms)
  • Human Feces
  • Non-organic material
  • Cat litter
  • Weeds with mature seeds and plants with invasive root systems
  • Chemically treated wood
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Will my home compost container smell?

Your compost container shouldn’t smell if done correctly.  But if it does, there are ways you can correct it.

Your compost bin smells like sewage or ammonia; it has too many green materials.  Add browns to balance it.

It smells like rotten eggs.  That means your bin is compacted and needs more air.  Turning the compost will help with this problem.  You can also add “fluffy” materials like dry leaves and grass to keep air flowing.

You smell rotten eggs and see slime in it. There is too much water in your compost bin.  To fix this, turn the compost and add brown materials to absorb excess moisture.


I hope after reading this, you feel it’s doable to compost at home!  Do you have any questions on home composting?    If you compost at home, what are your tips?