I want to start composting after a few failed attempts at vermicomposting indoors (I didn't have a balcony or any access to land back then). I have a rather large apartment balcony and I think I could easily do composting on the scale of a large Rubbermaid bin.
What is the best container to compost in? I have Rubbermaid bins, if something like that works, would I have to drill holes in it? Do I keep a lid on or off?
When the bin fills up, how long does it take to compost fully? In that time period, should I add anything to the bin or just leave it alone?
Do I need to do anything to "start" the composting process or just start chucking in veggie scraps, etc?
Are there any odor issues I would have to worry about? How can I minimize odors?
Because I don't have any land (leaves, shrubs, tree branches) I'm not sure how to incorporate enough brown into my greens. What can I do to ensure I have an adequate mix? (I do have a wood burning fireplace which produces wood ash, not sure if I can add that or if it is a "brown".)
Are there special considerations to take into account each season? I live in Chicagoland which means winters are quite cold and summers quite hot.