How To Craft And Use The Composter In Project Zomboid

In a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies, players must use what they can find around Project Zomboid‘s Kentucky if they hope to survive for any reasonable amount of time. Part of that survival means creating a sustainable farm that makes good use of compost.


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To make compost, you’ll need to train your Carpentry skill and ensure you have the right materials and space for the composter box, after which you can start recycling unwanted food and plants without much hassle at all.


How To Craft A Composter

A screenshot from Project Zomboid showing the drop down crafting menus for Carpentry, showing the furniture tab and then composter

A composter is one of the easier pieces of furniture to craft, and you’ll unlock it once you have progressed your Carpentry skill to level two. You can do this by starting with the Carpenter profession at the beginning of the game or by dissembling furniture like beds and closets.

You can add an XP multiplier by reading specialized Carpentry books found on shelves.

If you can find Woodcraft and Exposure Survival VHS tapes on shelves and a TV with power, you can get passive learning while also decreasing your boredom by being near the TV.

During the first nine days, you can watch the “Life and Living” channel to occasionally get a buff to your skills based on what episode is playing.

Once your Carpentry level is high enough, you’ll need to find five wooden planks and four nails. These can be acquired by disassembling furniture with the right tools, as shown when you hover over the ‘Disassemble’ option in the Right-Click menu. You can also find these resources in construction or maintenance areas.

Obtaining planks through disassembling furniture isn’t consistently reliable. If you have access to an axe and a saw, a more reliable alternative is to acquire planks by chopping down trees and sawing them.

A screenshot from Project Zomboid showing a Composter placed on the ground, empty, with the player's inventory open next to the composter inventory

To place the composter, you need to hold the supplies and left-click the option through the Carpentry menu. You’ll know it’s placed and available if you can open the container’s inventory in a separate window, as shown above.

How To Use A Composter

A screenshot from Project Zomboid showing a compost bin full of different fruits and meats, with

Project Zomboid tries to make using the composter as simple as possible. All you have to do is drag any unwanted food or foraged items from your inventory directly into the open container screen.

While you can place fresh and frozen food in the composter, it will need to go through the rotting process first before it’s composted. For this reason, it’s wise to start with foraged foods.

By default, Rotten food inside the Composter will take two weeks to turn into compost. It will ‘disappear’ from the inventory and begin to fill the box, raising the percentage. The time it takes to compost can be lowered or raised when generating a Custom Sandbox world under the ‘Nature’ tab.

A screenshot from Project Zomboid showing the Composter details expanded, with a 0 percent compost level

You can check the level of compost at any time by right-clicking the Composter while you’re standing next to it. Once the compost is in the box, you’ll either need an empty Sack or a partially filled Compost Bag.

Once you have some compost transferred to a bag, you can use the compost on your crop plots to help plants grow faster.

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