Composting Methods For Small Scale

by | Nov 19, 2020

Much of our kitchen waste is suitable for composting, but it doesn’t always seem practical to do so if that’s the only waste we have to compost. It’s a shame for it to end up in a landfill when nature can pretty much process it for us, and provide something useful at the same time.


Can you share ideas, DIY methods or products that you’ve had success with for small scale composting?

  • What food types can go in to your system?
  • Can it be set up and used indoors?
  • How frequently does it need adding to?

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  1. Helen

    Any solutions are worth discussing here, whether that’s building a specific device, or experiences of how you’ve set up a larger system that many neighbors have arranged to use together.
    If it makes it practical for the daily peelings and scraps from a household to make their way to being composted, then please do share!

  2. Erik Gjørup K

    Our municipality just started giving us all two containers; each is divided again into two; one is for food scraps and general waste, the other for plastic / small metallic parts (cans etc) and paper. Now, the leftover food is the one I use the least, as I am fortunate to live on my own land, and I bought a small extra container for whatever is compostable, and throw that in my own compost. What I am getting at is that it is really a great thing that we are now able as a community to sort our waste at the source, And in the process they are inspiring many to do as I do – make your own compost. Great stuff.

    • Helen Fisher

      Hi Erik, thanks for this! It does seem like a fantastic, and probably the simplest solution, to offer a separate food waste collection. For the vast majority of people this would be the most practical option and I hear of various locations where it’s in place. Perhaps it’ll become more more wide spread in the future.

  3. Stuart T


    Following having a go with bokashi and vermicomposting I came up with a bit of project.

    It is in its infancy but combines a miniature closed vessel composter as a heat exchanger, a vermicomposting bin and a very small scale aquaponics system working in a loop.

    I haven’t proved it will work (in fact I have only built the composter), but the theory seems sound with the temperatures of each phase being roughly right.

    Process being, chop up food waste with apple scratter / grater, use thermophilic composting to initially break it down, take heat from composter to warm worm bed, take partially decomposed food from composter to feed worms, use residual heat to keep aquaponic system working and then repeat loop. Trap omissions from composter in greenhouse and use growing plants in aquaponic system to filter out some of the greenhouse gas. Take vermicompost from bin to grow plants.

    It feels an unnecessary complication of simple natural systems, but I am keen to see if it can work.

    If anyone has done anything similar I would be interested to hear how they got on.

    Until then scraps simply go on the compost heap at the allotment, and will most likely do so for another good few years while I get the project finished (and composting is also considerably easier but maybe not as interesting).


    • Helen Fisher

      Hi Stu, I absolutely love your ideas here!
      Like you say, somewhat over complicating things, but in a way that would definitely teach so much if you were able to put it in to action. I love this kind of ‘system’ approach, kind of meeting nature with a bit of engineering and looping everything round. I’ve not tried anything along these lines, but I do feel I lot of my thinking is similar in a few projects that I’ve been planning out. I particular like the idea of using the residual heat – really maximising on it all.
      Have you had very much experience with aquaponics? I’m considering giving the principles a bit of a go but using ducks rather than fish (or maybe as well as), though I’ll have a few things to figure before I can get it in to action.
      If your composting loop ever makes it in to practice then you’ll have to keep us updated!


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