How to Compost at the Office – 6 Easy Steps

The kitchen at work may seem like an odd place for an indoor compost bin, but learning how to compost at the office saves money and affects the environment in positive ways. Businesses create more waste than homes, so office composting can make a huge difference – especially with these six easy steps.

how to compost

Indoor Compost Bin for the office

The Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin, available on Amazon, holds a gallon of waste. It’ll fit on top of the kitchen counter in your office, and will hold several days’ worth of compostable items. A charcoal filter absorbs the odors, so your office won’t smell. A better option for compost bins at the office is a Kitchen Compost Caddy that mounts under the sink, so it doesn’t clutter the counter.

“Composting can reduce your waste by up to 50%, making a dramatic impact on our landfills,” says Lisa von Sturmer, who founded Growing City in Vancouver. “Having less garbage means you save money by lowering your garbage costs.”

Here are a few steps that outline how to compost at the office – plus a link to the easiest way to deal with compost bins at work (aka Growing City). I saw this idea on Dragon’s Den, and have  been thinking about it ever since. It just makes so much sense to help businesses participate in composting, since they create so much waste! In this post, I also share a list of what goes in indoor compost bins and five reasons to compost at work.

How to Compost at Work – 6 Steps

1. Get an indoor compost bin that seals well and looks good. The bin has to be well-marked, and employees have to easily and quickly see what items are compostable. There’s a list of items that can be added to the compost bin below – and that list should be near the compost bin at work. Remember that clients may use the indoor compost bin as well, and they may need to be educated on how to compost at the office.

2. Print a poster of acceptable items for indoor compost bins at the office. If you search for posters that describe what items can be composted in the office, you’ll find a good selection. Make sure you use a poster that is copyright-free – many universities have learned how to compost and have posters online that are usable.

3. Announce to your staff that the office is “going greener.” Don’t just put your indoor compost bin in the kitchen at work, and expect employees to use it! Learning how to compost at the office is a team effort, and requires all employees to have the right information. Consider going beyond a memo or email announcement; think about having an office compost “coming out” party. Make it interesting and fun to learn how and why to compost at the office.

indoor compost bin for office

“How to Compost at the Office” image by papi, via Pixabay CC License

4. Add cleaning the indoor compost bin to the list of janitorial services. Whether or not you have a contract with a cleaning company, you may be able to add this duty to their list of things to do. This may be tricky, depending on unions and contracts and communication with the cleaning company. If your janitorial company is small, you may be able to just ask the cleaner to empty the compost bin every evening.

5. Ask employees to volunteer to empty and clean the compost bin daily. This might be the hard part of learning how to compost at the office – or it could be the easy part! Some employees may immediately want to be part of composting at work, while others may find it distasteful.

6. Or, don’t worry about buying and cleaning indoor compost bins – hire a business like Growing City. This is the easy way to take care of compost at work. Their “valet service” collects the compost waste from a small, sleek stainless steel indoor compost bin, cleans the bin with a natural deodorizing cleaner, and leaves it smelling and looking fresh and clean.

Acceptable Items for Indoor Compost Bins at Work

Here’s a list of food and items that are commonly found in most workplaces and that be composted. One of the most important steps when you’re learning how to compost at the office is to learn what goes in the compost bin.

indoor compost bins at work

“How to Compost at the Office” image by

  • All food waste including vegetable, fruit peels and pits, dairy and meat
  • All paper coffee cups (lids removed and excess liquids dumped out)
  • Paper takeout food containers
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper plates
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Wooden stir sticks or chopsticks
  • Compostable plant-based cutlery and clear cups (check details printed on the product)
  • Plants and cut flowers

Plastic bags should never be placed in compost bins, even if they state they are biodegradable.

If you’re searching for “how to compost” because you’re into gardening, you might be interested in learning how to start a garden blog.

5 Reasons to Compost at the Office

These reasons to learn how to compost at work are from the Growing City website. Lisa von Sturmer is the founder, and believes in helping businesses contribute to sustainable environment.

indoor compost bins at work

Lisa von Sturmer, founder of Growing City in Vancouver, BC

Save money. If you pay for garbage removal, Lisa says you save money by lowering your garbage costs. I think this depends on how your garbage removal and janitorial contracts work. An indoor compost bin might create less garbage, but it might increase your business costs if you hire a valet service.

Fight global warming. Organic waste that is not composted ends up in the landfill, where it produces harmful greenhouse gasses (especially methane) and toxic material that leaches into the ground and can pollute groundwater.  Composting with a business such as Growing City insures the responsible decomposition of your waste.

Make a difference every day. Composting is an environmental initiative that you and your team at work can feel good about participating in – everyday!  Growing City’s monthly graphic Diversion Update reports track your diversion rates and help you to stay excited about your environmental commitments.

Be a leader in sustainability. Composting is a valuable tool in promoting sustainability in your home or workplace.  If you hire Growing City to help you compost at work, they’ll give you a widget you can add to your website so your team and your clients can see how much waste and CO2e diversions you’ve made.

Feel good! Feel good knowing you’re making a real positive impact on our community and environment.  Every new Growing City client helps us make a larger impact on our local landfills and GHG emissions – we can’t wait to see how much waste we can divert together.

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Stackable Recycling & Compost Containers

Learning how to compost at work will help you take the more common practice of recycling one step further, and participate in creating a more sustainable environment. Businesses have the power to affect the environment in so many ways – why not with indoor compost bins? A minor change makes a huge impact.

If you’re just getting your office into composting and recycling, check out the Suncast Recycle Bin. It works for “wet storage” as well as dry, which means it could be used for composting at work. This might be a more organized way to keep all your kitchen recycling and composting in one place. The easier it is to compost and recycle, the more likely your employees will do it!

If you have any questions or thoughts on how to compost at the office or indoor compost bins, please fire away below.

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