Balcony composting is a great way to reduce waste to the landfill while having fun making some great soil for next to no cost. For those that don’t compost because they’re grossed out by worms or don’t have the time or space- this method may be the one for you.
All you need is two 5 gallon buckets or similar containers and a drill with a 1/8″ bit. Drill holes in the sides and bottom of the top bucket, and then place it into the bottom bucket. The bottom bucket functions as your leachate collection tray.
Now add a layer of shredded cardboard/shredded leaves/straw in the bottom, followed by a layer of food scraps. Take note to avoid adding meat, dairy (crushed eggshells are fine), fish, pet waste or weeds that have gone to seed. Adding some finished compost or soil is good to introduce other organisms into the system. Simply alternate layers until the bucket is full, then put the lid on and start another.
I would not recommend adding water to the system, as plastic holds moisture quite well…however, the consistency of a “wrung out sponge” is ideal, so keep that in mind. Adding urine in the beginning helps bring some extra nitrogen to the process as well.
Pros/Cons of this system:
+Requires little effort or space
-Hard to harvest finished compost
-Not easy to rotate material (stirring it with a stick can help)
Have you tried this before? Leave a comment and let me know your experience with this. I feel weird not making this video sooner, as I’ve made videos for compost bins, tumblers and vermicomposting systems, yet I haven’t focused on simply composting on my balcony to inspire those of you that are strapped for space. It’s better late than never, so I hope you get started!