Compost bin. Photo courtesy London Permaculture via Flickr

Compost pile

Compost piles are a low-maintenance option for city-dwellers with decent-sized yards. This option works best for homeowners or those who don’t plan to move within a year.

Because these techniques employ cold composting — matter is largely left alone so it never reaches a high temperature — the process will take some time and can get a bit stinky. These downsides can be countered by turning the pile or adding brown material to improve air flow and drainage.

You can literally just start tossing scraps into a pile of composting matter in a corner. Or you can make a compost bin with free wood pallets that you scavenge from your cities’ industrial area or the local Home Depot. This will help keep animals out and neighbors from complaining. Camouflaging your bin with flowers, that will appreciate their new nutrient rich home, is another way to dress up your compost and placate neighbors.