Can I Compost With WasteWell if I Live in An Apartment?

Wondering if WasteWell curbside composting service will work for you even if you live in an apartment? We’ve got all your FAQs answered below.

Just about every person who signs up for our curbside composting service has at least one clarifying question. We try to answer them all in our FAQ series, but everyone’s situation is a little different.

Below, we’ve focused on some of the common questions our apartment dwellers ask us. Hopefully, they will quell your questions about curbside composting and convince you to sign up for a Swell Well from WasteWell.

So can I really compost even if I live in an apartment?

Short Answer — Heck yeah! And we hope you do. Our apartment dwellers are some of our favorite customers. Taking a quick stroll or climbing the stairs to your unit is our cardio, and it’s good for our glutes.

If that’s all you needed to know,  head on over and sign up here for our composting services. We can’t wait to have you on board.

I’m Ready For My Swell Well

Cleaner, Greener Kitchen – Here I Come

But wait… I still have more questions.

We thought you might have a few more questions. Most people do. Here are answers to questions we often receive from apartment dwellers about using our curbside composting service.

Frequently Asked Questions About Curbside Composting For Apartment Dwellers

The absolute most common question…

Where can I keep my 5-gallon bucket?

Under your sink or on a balcony are the best options in our opinion. But you do you; we’re totally cool with that.

You want me to keep my food scraps under my sink?!


(Deep breath)

We know many people hesitate about this and worry about pests and smells. But where are your food scraps now? Probably in your trash can… under your sink? This isn’t the case for everyone, of course, but most people already keep their food scraps under their sink in a container without a lid.

We suggest you keep it in our 5-gallon bucket (that we affectionately call a Swell Well) which includes a lid that seals. Our favorite option is to keep food scraps in a countertop container with a charcoal filter lid and empty that container into your Swell Well once every few days to a week.

We sell countertop containers and filters to our customers through our shop that is accessible via your customer account. We deliver these directly to your home with no delivery fee. However, you’re welcome to use whatever countertop container works best for you, even if it’s not from us.

You can also freeze your food scraps and add them to your bucket just before collection day (if you have space in your freezer), leave them in a bowl on your counter and empty into the bucket at the end of each day, or toss them into the bucket each time you create them.

We rarely hear from customers about odor issues. We don’t recommend sticking your head into the bucket and taking a whiff (that’s pretty gross), but you won’t have a stinky kitchen from opening the bucket every once in a while.

Will it cause smells or attract pests under my sink?

We can’t make any definitive promises, but we really don’t think it will be an issue. We have many customers that keep the bucket under their sink without any issues. And as an act of good faith, our owner keeps compost in a bucket under her sink for two weeks to test this out through different seasons. So far, so good.

Where do I put the bucket on pickup day?

Most of our apartment dwellers who have exterior doors that we can access leave their bucket outside this door in the morning before pick up. Those who live in apartment buildings where we do not have direct access to their unit door leave their bucket in the lobby of their building or near their mailbox. We may need to coordinate with your management company to ensure they’re aware of the service, but we’ve yet to encounter issues.

Will my maintenance team accidentally take my bucket?

This rarely happens. So far, we’ve had one customer who lost a bucket to their trash company and that’s it. It was actually our very first customer, and it happened the very first week she left her bucket out for collection. We can’t make this stuff up!

We quickly decided to put stickers on top of the buckets that say “Not Trash. Do Not Remove.” to prevent confusion. Here’s what they look like. It’s pretty effective, so we don’t think your maintenance team will take it.

If your bucket does get misplaced or mistaken for trash, we offer replacement buckets. You’re welcome to purchase a new bucket through your customer account or request a free replacement from our gently used bucket collection.

Buckets come back to us from existing customers for a handful of reasons. We clean the buckets and are happy to provide them to customers who need a replacement bucket but don’t need something that’s brand-spanking-new for their food scraps.

Shameless Plug: Why not encourage your apartment complex management company or resident community group to partner with WasteWell or promote WasteWell to your neighbors? The more people in your community who use WasteWell, the more familiar your maintenance people will be with the buckets (and the less likely they are to accidentally take them).

Each customer receives a unique referral link. Share your referral link or ask us to create a custom WasteWell flyer to pass along to neighbors, share with a community group, or have your management company distribute it on your behalf. You and your neighbor each earn $5 in account credit when they sign up as a new customer. Here are all the details about our Referral Program.

It’s a win-win-win for you, your neighbor, and the environment!

Will a neighbor “borrow” my bucket?

Well… we don’t know your neighbors so we can’t say for sure, but this isn’t a common issue. Because most of our customers only leave their bucket outside on pickup day (once every two weeks), it’s generally not out for curious consumption that long.

If you do have a sneaky neighbor who “borrows” your bucket indefinitely, we offer replacement buckets. We mentioned this above, but to save you from scrolling back up, here’s the gist. You’re welcome to purchase a new bucket through your customer account or request a free replacement from our gently used bucket collection.

Buckets come back to us from existing customers for a handful of reasons. We clean the buckets and are happy to provide them to customers who need a replacement bucket but don’t care about getting something that’s brand-spanking-new for their food scraps.

But I Still Have More Questions

That’s a-ok! Send us an email at and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

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