Indoor vs. Outdoor Composting: Which is Right for You?

Indoor vs. Outdoor Composting: Which is Right for You?

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Rebecca Miller



When it comes to composting, there are two main methods to consider: indoor and outdoor composting. Both options offer unique benefits and challenges, and the choice ultimately depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. Indoor composting allows you to turn food scraps into nutrient-rich soil indoors, while outdoor composting involves utilizing an outdoor space to create compost. In this article, we'll explore the advantages and considerations of each method, helping you determine which approach is the right fit for your urban farming journey. Let's dig in!

Indoor Composting

When it comes to composting, many urban farmers may assume that they're limited to outdoor options. However, indoor composting is a convenient and practical solution for those who don't have access to outdoor spaces or want to compost year-round.

Indoor composting involves creating a small-scale composting system within the comfort of your own home. One popular method is vermicomposting, which uses worms to break down organic waste. With a Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin, you can easily manage your kitchen scraps, turning them into nutrient-rich worm castings. Not only does this process limit waste going to landfills, but it also produces valuable fertilizer for your indoor plants or small garden.

Another option for indoor composting is using a compact, odor-resistant compost bin like the OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin. This bin allows you to collect food scraps conveniently and discreetly, without worrying about unpleasant odors. Plus, it's designed for easy cleaning and maintenance, making the indoor composting process hassle-free.

Indoor composting offers several advantages, such as convenience and year-round availability. While it may not result in as much compost as outdoor methods, it's a fantastic solution for those looking to reduce waste and create sustainable practices within their urban spaces. By exploring indoor composting options like using compostable bags such as UNNI ASTM D6400 Certified Compostable Bags and gaining insights from resources like the book Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond, you can successfully engage in environmentally friendly practices while improving the health of your plants. So why not give it a try and embark on your indoor composting journey?

Note: The worms and composting bin mentioned above are available for purchase on Amazon.

Outdoor Composting

As an urban farmer, I wholeheartedly believe in the power of composting to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. While indoor composting certainly has its benefits, there's something magical about taking your composting efforts outdoors. Outdoor composting not only allows you to handle larger amounts of waste but also encourages enhanced microbial activity in the compost pile.

One of the major advantages of outdoor composting is its scalability. If you have a larger amount of kitchen scraps or yard waste to compost, outdoor composting provides the space to handle it all. You can set up a compost pile or invest in a compost tumbler like the Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler or the Yimby Tumbler Composter to efficiently compost your organic matter. These options not only make turning the pile easier but also speed up the decomposition process.

Another incredible benefit of outdoor composting is the increased microbial activity. When you compost outdoors, you invite a diverse range of microorganisms to break down the organic matter. These microorganisms play a crucial role in decomposing the waste and transforming it into nutrient-rich compost. The outdoor environment provides ideal conditions for these microorganisms to thrive, resulting in a more efficient composting process.

So, if you're passionate about urban farming and have the space and resources to compost outdoors, it's definitely worth considering. Whether you choose to use a compost tumbler or simply create a compost pile using a wire compost bin like the Bosmere Wire Compost Bin, outdoor composting offers the ability to handle larger amounts of waste and encourages robust microbial activity.

Choosing the Right Method for You

Deciding between indoor and outdoor composting can be a tough choice, but fear not, as I'm here to help you weigh the factors and make an informed decision. One crucial aspect to consider is space availability. If you live in a small apartment or lack outdoor space, indoor composting might be the way to go. With options like worm composting or bokashi composting, you can transform your kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost without needing a large backyard.

Another factor to consider is the time commitment. Indoor composting systems generally require more frequent maintenance, such as monitoring moisture levels and turning the pile. If you have a busy schedule or prefer a hands-off approach, outdoor composting could be a better fit. With a backyard compost bin or a compost tumbler, you can let nature do its work with minimal intervention.

Lastly, it's important to take your personal preferences into account. Are you someone who enjoys getting your hands dirty and feeling connected to the soil? Do you have a love for nature and prefer the outdoors? Or are you more drawn to the convenience and aesthetics of indoor composting? Reflecting on these preferences will help you determine which method aligns better with your lifestyle and values.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to indoor versus outdoor composting. Consider the available space, time commitment, and your personal inclinations. Whichever method you choose, the key is to start composting and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world, one scrap at a time.


In this post, we have explored the two options of indoor and outdoor composting and their benefits for urban farmers. Indoor composting offers convenience, odor control, and the ability to compost year-round, while outdoor composting provides larger capacity and the natural breakdown process.

To choose the right method for you, consider your lifestyle, space availability, and composting goals. If you have limited space or prefer a low-maintenance approach, indoor composting may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you have ample outdoor space and want to embrace the natural decomposition process, outdoor composting could be a perfect fit. Remember, there's no right or wrong choice - it all depends on what suits your needs and preferences.

Regardless of the method you choose, embarking on a composting journey is a wonderful way to close the loop and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. By composting, you can transform your food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil for your urban farm. So, why not give it a try and explore the world of composting? It's a gratifying and fulfilling step towards a greener tomorrow. Happy composting, urban farmers!

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