Do yourself and Mother Earth a favor by composting. Composting is a great way of recycling and reusing your food waste in a healthy and productive manner. After you get the hang of it, you can begin to use your nutrient-rich compost for gardening, landscaping, and many other agricultural ventures. One of the best parts about a composter is that after the initial investment, you will have great rich soil available at all times for free! This will help the fruits, veggies, and herbs in your garden to flourish.
Knowing ahead of time what types of foods you'll be composting and how you'll use the compost can save you a lot of time when choosing which product will benefit you most. We have created this list to show you a few options that are available and help you get going in the right direction.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Easy to use
Top 10 Picks
1. EnviroWorld FreeGarden Earth
Easy to use
Lid could be easier to use
EnviroWorld’s FreeGarden Earth Bin comes with an affordable price tag and a nice design that will give you what you want to make great fertilizer. You’ll wind up with a product that is very easy to use, and it is also quite durable. It’s decently large and can hold about eighty-two gallons at once, which means you’ll be able to create what you need with it. It also brings you a product that doesn’t require assembly once you get it in your hands, and that in itself will save you a lot of time getting started with it. It also comes with nice ventilation to make it very efficient, and it features a free booklet as well.Read more
Ease of Use
EnviroWorld’s FreeGarden Earth Bin offers a nice product that is very easy to use. One nice thing we like about this product is that it comes already assembled, which will save you a lot of time getting going in the process. You’ll get a system that is simple to use and has a cylindrical bin area that features a lid that twists off and a door that slides. It also can hold a decent amount of items you can then turn into fertilizer, and it offers a nice design.
EnviroWorld’s FreeGarden Earth Bin has a nice twist-top lid design that helps to make the use of the product quite simple. It’s also easier to put your leftover items inside this bin because of its design, which is wide at the top and very easy to use. You’ll be able to get a nice product that is, in itself, made of recycled materials, and you’ll also get an effective system. Plus, this bin comes with a nice booklet as well to make it easier for you to use the product.
EnviroWorld’s FreeGarden Earth Bin comes with a lot of durability in its design since it is manufactured out of high-quality materials. It features a nice, effective ventilation system that makes the product work effectively, and since it is built to last, you’ll be able to use it for a long time. This product works great, and you’ll wind up getting what you need out of it.
EnviroWorld’s FreeGarden Earth Bin comes with an affordable price tag, making it a nice option if you are shopping on a budget. You get a good product design here that will give you a lot of opportunities to recycle what you need and use your fertilizer. It holds quite a bit and is simple to use. Plus, it is built to last, and that also makes it very cost-effective.
2. Joraform Compost Tumbler JK 270
Cuts back on odor and rodents
Joraform’s Compost Tumbler JK 270 runs on the expensive side of things for this type of product, but if you are worried about how your product is going to look in your house whether it is indoors or outdoors, then you might prefer this one. It is going to cost a bit more than some of the other options on our list, but it will look great and provide you with plenty of efficient performance. You’ll get a bin that can hold about seventy gallons of scraps and turn that into fertilizer. You’ll also get a lot of durabilities since this product comes with galvanized steel designed into it.Read more
Ease of Use
Joraform’s Compost Tumbler JK 270 does require some assembly when you purchase it, but it isn’t too difficult to get it up and running. It does include a good instructional booklet to help get you through the process. Also, the overall design of this tumbler will make it very easy to use since the handles are spaced out and quite easy to turn. You’ll get a lot of efficiency out of this product, which also features a durable design.
Joraform’s Compost Tumbler JK 270 is designed to work fast, and it does just that, which makes it a great product. You’ll also get a nice tumbler that doesn’t release terrible odors or attract a lot of nasty, unwanted visitors—like rats. You’ll also get a tumbler that is very easy to unload and can do a great job of creating what you want without giving off a smell that makes you want to avoid the thing. Also, this product has a lot of nice ventilation to offer as well.
Joraform’s Compost Tumbler JK 270 is comprised out of galvanized steel and metal, which makes the product very durable. The galvanized steel is used in the design to help keep odor in so you don’t get that nasty smell so commonly associated with these types of products. However, not only will it cut back on terrible odors and keep rodents away, the steel design makes this a very long-lasting product.
Joraform’s Compost Tumbler JK 270 is priced on the expensive end of the spectrum, but it is still a product worth considering. If you are concerned about looks, you’ll get a nice style with this design. Also, if you can’t deal with the odor associated with these types of products, you won’t have to with this one. With a lot of durabilities to boot, you’ll get plenty of use out of this product.
3. Worm Factory 3-Tray
Can expand to large capacity
Very easy to use
Lid could be wider
Worm Factory’s 3-Tray brings you a product that’s more along the lines of a standard 4-tray design, but it can also expand out so you can add trays. That means this product can hold a lot of stuff, and it has a large capacity for something you can use in your house. You’ll get a nice lid that works well when you use the product, and you’ll also get a guide that features a lot of great directions that cover how to set the product up and how to use it. This is a nice product for beginners, and it is also priced affordably.Read more
Ease of Use
Worm Factory’s 3-Tray is designed to be very easy to use and simple to set up. What’s nice is that this product comes with a booklet that not only helps you get the product up and running but also gives you a lot of guidance about how to use the product. And, if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get a product from a manufacturer that has an excellent customer service department and can take your questions via telephone or through online chat. With all of that, you’ll be able to use this product even if you are just starting out.
Worm Factory’s 3-Tray has a lot of neat features packed into it that we really like. First, we like that this product is sizes like a 4-tray option, and can actually expand and hold up to eight trays. That means if you want a lot of capacity in it, you can get it, and that’s a great option since this can easily go in your home or garage. Plus, you get an easy to use lid and a very good instruction manual that will guide you through the entire process.
Worm Factory’s 3-Tray is durable and long-lasting. The parts of this product are all manufactured to give you a lot of quality, and you’ll get something that is also made to be easy to use. With the strong design and the nice volume in this product, you’ll get what you need and want each time you use it. Plus, it comes with a helpful booklet and a great customer service department that is ready to help if you have any problems with it.
Worm Factory’s 3-Tray is priced affordably, and it offers a lot of great features and options that really make it a great value purchase. Considering you can increase its capacity if you need to, you will be able to hold all you need easily. Plus, the design is simple to use and with the nice directions you’ll get, you’ll never be lost. There is also a lot of durabilities here to make this a quality product.
4. Yimby Tumbling
Simple to use
Not odor proof can attract rodents
Yimby’s Tumbling Composter is priced to be affordable, and this is a nice product if you are shopping on a budget. It is a smaller option, but if that’s all you are looking for and you don’t have a lot of space, then this product might be a nice choice for you. If you only plan on doing some tumbling every now and then, then this product should be enough for you. This one holds about thirty-seven gallons of scraps and will give you decent production and efficiency. It’s certainly not fancy, but it works well if you are shopping on a budget and still will give you what you need.Read more
Ease of Use
Yimby’s Tumbling Composter is made to give you a simple little system that is efficient and effective. It’s small by design, but that should work perfectly if you are looking for something that can save a little space. You won’t get a lot of heat or insulation with this simple design, and it isn’t rodent resistant, either. However, it is very easy to put together and simple to use by design, which makes it a nice product choice for people that need something small.
Yimby’s Tumbling Composter makes mixing pretty simple, and you can turn what you need to easily in it. It can make your fertilizer in about two weeks, and it does work effectively for somebody just starting out with a product like this. You’ll get two chambers which help make the product easy to use. Also, you’ll be able to grab onto the handles easily, and you’ll get a product with aeration holes to help ventilate.
Yimby’s Tumbling Composter is made to be quite durable even with its affordable price tag. It is made to be BPA free and it also is designed so that sunlight won’t make it age or break down. Plus, it features a corrosion resistant steel frame for extra durability. This product will last some time, and you’ll be able to use it with ease.
Yimby’s Tumbling Composter is very affordable, and it is a great product option if you are shopping on a budget. You’ll get a nice design that is very simple to use and although small, quite effective. It’s a nice design if you need to save some space. Also, the product comes with a lot of durabilities which is nice since it isn’t an expensive option at all.
5. Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler
Easy to use
Can make compost tea
Could have a better lid
Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler is a nice product option if you are looking for something affordable and effective that can make great fertilizer for your garden. This product is designed to hold up to fifty gallons of scraps, and it also arrives fully assembled, so that takes some of the work and pressure off of you once you get it. It’s designed to be easy to use and very safe. Also, it does a great job of making compost tea for your garden, which is a nice fertilizer you can use to water your plants.Read more
Ease of Use
Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler is made to be very easy to use. One thing we like about this product is that it arrives already assembled and ready to go, and that will save you a lot of time in the process. You’ll also get a tumbler that can make compost tea effectively, which you can then bottle up to water your garden with it, making it a very easy fertilizer to use when you are growing something special. We also like that the product features directions that help guide you through the use.
Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler offers a lot of great features that make this a product that is worth considering. First, it comes made out of fully recycled materials and is also made to be BPA free. It features a base that can collect compost tea, which you can then use in liquid form to water your plants with fertilizer that will help them grow. The product is also designed to be very safe, so you won’t need to worry about anything going wrong if you have pets and kids around.
Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler is durable by design and will last a long time considering the fact it is so cost effective. You’ll get a lot of use out of it since it is made to be very low-maintenance, and that helps to make it work more effectively and for longer. You’ll be able to reap its benefits for a while, and you’ll get plenty of use out of it.
Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler is priced at an inexpensive cost, and it offers you quite a lot for the price. If you are trying to fertilize a garden with your tumbler, this tumbler is a great option because it is designed to make compost tea. That can be turned into a liquid and used to fertilize your garden. Also, this product is quite durable, and that helps make it cost effective
6. Exaco ECO-2000 2.4 Gallon
Includes a carbon filter to reduce odor
Easy to set up and use
Comes with a handle so easy to carry
A bit small
Exaco ECO-2000 Bin offers you an affordable product option and one that is very popular as well to boot. Since this bin is priced affordably and made to be very strong and durable, it’s quite effective and long-lasting, and it’s gotten a lot of rave reviews. It also has a nice appearance overall, which is a huge bonus since, as many of us know, some similar products aren’t going to be as attractive as this one. It is simple to use and also easy to put together, and a good product to consider.Read more
Ease of Use
Exaco ECO-2000 Bin brings you a simple design that is very easy to set up and simple to use. The entire assembly process with this product can be done in about ten minutes, so you really don't need to worry about spending a lot of time getting it going. Also, the bin is extremely easy to use and comes with a nice set of directions that will get you going with the set up and use. It is a wonderful kitchen compost waste collector.
Exaco ECO-2000 Bin comes with a lot of nice features. It has a nice air flow system designed into it, and you’ll also get a product that locks odors in so you don’t get terrible smells that might attract rodents. Includes a carbon filter that significantly reduces any odors. This bin is also designed to keep children and pets out of it for safety, which is a nice bonus.
Exaco ECO-2000 Bin is comprised out of a very durable and thick recycled plastic material. The plastic used here is a lot stronger than your normal plastic product would be, and this thing is really built to last. It is made from high-density polyethylene which makes it also dishwasher safe. It also helps to lock out odors and keep rodents away, and that’s always good since you won’t need to deal with horrible odors. With so much effectiveness and durability, this product will last you a long time.
Exaco ECO-2000 Bin comes with an affordable price, and considering how easy this system is to use, it is a nice product. It includes a Compost collector which has a 2.4-gallon capacity. It is simple to set up and it’s a great product even for beginners. Plus, the durable plastic used to make this product helps to make it a long-lasting option. You’ll get ample amounts of use with this option, which makes this a nice value to consider.
7. Envirocycle Composting Tumbler Bin
Produces solid and liquid compost
No assembly required
A bit large
Envirocycle Composting Tumbler Bin is one durable product, and some people have had this product last them well over a decade. It provides a liquid and solid compost feature so it is very durable. That’s a very nice bonus since you know you won’t need to replace the product any time soon if you buy it. It also comes ready to use with no assembly required. It’s a bit more expensive than some of our other product options, but not listed at a terrible price considering its durability and the fact it also won’t create odors or make things unsafe for pets.Read more
Ease of Use
Envirocycle Composting Tumbler has a nice design that is very easy-to-use. It’s simple for beginners and comes already set up and put together. Plus, with the air vent at the top, you’ll get oxygen into it, and we also like the fact this product uses a drum so that you won’t have to smell it, and that helps keep rodents away and pets safe.
This composter is available in two different sizes, 17 or 35 gallons, and two different colors as well, black or pink. The composter is easy to turn and reviewers love the durability of the product. Envirocycle produces liquid and solid compost. Depending on where you plan to keep the composter, the size may be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. The product itself is fairly large. However, in black, it is rather discreet and could fit in with outdoor furniture.
Envirocycle Composting Tumbler is very durable by design, and some users have reported having this product for well over a decade. This product is designed with a lot of high-quality materials that make it quite sturdy and durable. It is made of food safe, BPA and rust-free, UV and antioxidant protected materials which means you will have this product for a very long time and get quite a bit of use out of it before you’d need to replace it.
Envirocycle Composting Tumbler Bin is a bit more expensive than some of the other products on our list but still offers a nice design overall. The price also has to do with the durability and high-quality materials you’ll get with this product.
8. Redmon Green Culture 65
Easy to use
Many windows/access points
Self-insulates and works quickly
The lid should be heavier, can fly away in extreme winds
Doesn't hold in odor
If you are looking for a basic, easy to use composter, this is it. The Redmon is easy to set up, easy to use and does all of the work for you. The black exterior of the bin attracts the sun and quickly begins the composting process. There are easily accessible doors at the bottom of the bin so that you can use put the oldest compost soil to work first.Read more
Ease of Use
This is an incredibly simple composter to use. To add new scraps the bin, you simply remove the top and throw them in. When you are ready to extract compost, you can easily access the most potent compost from the bottom of the bin by opening one of the four side doors and scooping it out.
As far as setting up the composter, this is also very simple. The composter comes with five panels and a few screws. It may come as common sense to some, but there is also a helpful instruction guide included as well.
We love the size of this composter. This bin can hold up to 65-gallons. The black color attracts the sun naturally and heats up the scraps inside, breaking them down faster. There are strategically placed vents all around the composter, but while these vents help create great soil, they also allow the smell to escape and could attract animals. The overall weight of this composter is only fifteen pounds. It is simple to move around your garden to provide healthy soil for each plant.
The durability of the composter is decent if you live in a non-windy environment, or if you don’t mind creating some sort of system to keep the lid from flying off. There are small stakes at the bottom of the composter that you push into the ground, but they are only about one-inch deep and don’t tend to provide a stable structure. However, the plastic resin that the bin is made from is UV and weather resistant and is specifically designed to help your scraps compost quickly.
This is a very affordable option, as it should be for a functional, yet simple, compost bin. This would make for a great beginner’s compost bin because it is so simple to use and composts quickly. The Redmon Green Culture will end up paying for itself in no time.
9. Algreen Products Soil Saver Classic Bin
Easy to use
Bottom door could be easier to use
No replacement parts available
Algreen’s Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin offers you an affordable option that is also very durable. Its surprising ability to last many, many years makes us commend the manufacturers on this cost-effective design. You’ll be able to produce fertilizer effectively and you can use it on your garden with ease. Plus it is very simple in design and made to be simple to use, and that’s a nice bonus. With so many great features we feel this is an excellent product.Read more
Ease of Use
Algreen’s Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin is made to be very easy to use. It is made with a large opening on top so you can easily access what you need. Also, with two sliding doors, you’ll have no problems using this product. We also like the fact this product is quite simple to put together, and you’ll have it up in running in under fifteen minutes. You’ll also be able to use this product for a long time.
Algreen’s Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin offers a lot of nice features by its design. The durable plastic on this product is very thick, and that also helps to insulate the inside and create better soil. That strong plastic also makes this product durable, and that’s a bonus. You’ll get locking self-watering lids with this, too, and that helps to keep animals out while still ventilating the system overall.
Algreen’s Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin is designed with very durable and thick plastic. That plastic is made to be BPA-free and is also much stronger than your standard plastic. In fact, some customers report getting around ten years of use out of this product with it still going strong, which is very impressive, especially considering the cost-effective price of this product. So, you’ll be able to use this product for a very long time.
Algreen’s Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin comes with an affordable price tag, and it is a very nice option if you need something on a budget. It’s got a simple design that is very easy to use, and it is a very popular product option overall. Also, with its thick, durable plastic construction, you’ll be able to use this product for years before you’ll need to worry about replacing it. That will save you money in the long run.
10. Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber
It is a dual chamber rolling compost
Great customer service
It is BPA-free and food grade
Takes a bit of time to assemble
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber Compost is a nice product option that can make what you need to compost your food and produce fertilizer. It features a nice, durable design and is quite solid overall. It is designed to be food safe, and it is also made to be rust-free. Plus, this product has a dual chamber rolling compost tumbler! It’ll help you produce a constant and abundant flow of the coveted “black gold” which gives your plants the nutrient-dense fertilizer they need and it will provide you with a lot of efficient, effective use.Read more
Ease of Use
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber is made to be very easy to use and features an overall simple design. One nice thing about this product is Miracle-Gro’s turning garden composter does just that with its dual chamber design and high volume capacity. You can add compost ingredients to 1 side while letting the other side cure. Also, this product has a great customer service team behind it, so if you do need help, it’s very easy to call and get a hold of somebody. You can do a lot with it the efficient tumbler system is simple to load and unload while creating perfectly cooked compost without having to dig, turn, or mix by hand.
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber Compost offers a lot of great features and comes with a food-safe design. It’s also designed to speed up decomposition, yielding rich, fertile compost in just 4-6 weeks. So, it has a nice design, and it gives you the opportunity to make fertilizer or compost at the same time. The compost bin tumbler is made with sturdy side-locking mechanisms, a strong galvanized steel base, and tight seals to keep out unwanted pests and animals.
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber Compost is designed to be very durable and is built to be very solid. It comes food safe, the BPA-free, food grade, UV-protected plastic ensures faster and more efficient composting all year round, while never leaching harmful toxins. That means this product will last you some time, and perform very well. Plus, if you ever have any problems with it, you get the backing of a great customer service team to help you out. All of that means you’ll get a lot of long-lasting use here.
Miracle-Gro Large Dual Chamber Compost comes at a moderate price, and for what it offers, it’s priced well. You’ll still get plenty of use out of it since it is quite durable, and it is built to last. It’s a very safe product, and it offers a lot of great features and options that make it efficient and effective to use. All of that means this is a nice value product.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
Luckily, most composters are pretty straight forward. You throw your organic waste into the bin. Some of them produce healthier compost quicker if you give them a few turns, or sometimes add other nutrients. For the most part, the bin provides a healthy and ideal environment for your food waste to transform without you doing much of anything.
Many of these products come already assembled, and that is a nice bonus if you are looking for something that is easy to use. However, if there is a setup process, it is usually quick. We researched every detail of the products on our list and rated their ease of use. We also took note of the number of compartments. In some cases, you can compost in one section and cure it in another. If you are just starting out with one of these products, make sure you purchase one with good directions and a quality customer service team and that way you’ll be guided through the process.
Making compost is easy, right? With the right tools it can be but what you need to realize is it could be harder depending on the model you go with. Even though larger bins can hold more waste, they will also be a bit more difficult to maintain as you will need to turn over the compost (unless you buy a tumbler).
But, there is something else to talk about and that is the assembly. For the most part, this is not going to be too much of a hassle. From time to time, however, you will come across models that will need to be assembled. This can either be pathetically easy or a pain in the butt and depends largely on the individual design.
With poor quality control and lazy engineering, the simplest of compost bins can be difficult to assemble. All it takes is one misaligned screw to ruin your day. In this case, it will not hurt to have some handyman skills. Again, though, this will not be an issue too frequently.
You get a lot of great features with these products, but a lot of that can depend on the brand and the cost of the product. Some come with odor-locking technology, and that cuts back not only on smells but the rodents you might attract. Many also offer pet and kid safety features it might be important for you to consider. It is important to pay attention to how the product closes. Is there a lock?
Some of the composters on our list also feature an insulation system to help speed up the process of composting. Others feature a drainage bin that you can collect compost "tea" in and use that to water your plants.
As said before, these “tools” are pretty simple in their designs. With that said, there are still some features that you can look out for. Of course, this all starts with the lid. Now, the reasoning to why you would want a lid is twofold. For starters, if the bin is outside, food scraps could end up attracting furry little nuisances (such as raccoons). And, even though such animals can be pretty crafty, a secure lid is going to stop them. Secondly, for indoor use, do you really want to smell the compost?
Now, continuing on, there are plenty of models on the market that are designed with subpar lids. Many of which can be really difficult to put back on and while, this is annoying, it is something you may have to deal with. The same could be said about the handling of certain compost bins. While most will be designed to be stationary, certain designs may be equipped with grooves (tumblers) or handles.
Let’s talk about kitchen compost bins for another second. The main feature that makes these optimal for indoor use is their ability to resist odors. Some will do so with charcoal filters as, after all, you really do not want to smell all the scraps inside, do you?
Depending on which product you are considering, some of these options are more durable than others. Typically, the most durable types are made out of strong metals or very thick plastic. On our list, we feature both materials and give you an honest review of how strong the product is. The strength of the bin is incredibly important because you don't want any small leaks or holes forming. Not only will this attract animals, but you will also be losing valuable compost.
When considering durability, you should also check to see if the retailer or brand offers a warranty of any sort. There are some companies who will replace parts and others who will replace the entire product if something isn't functioning properly.
When we considered the value of our products, we took a look at how much they cost, what they offered, and how long they would last. With a product such as this, it is important to think about the long-term. You will be creating soil/fertilizer from groceries that you would be buying either way. You will never have to purchase soil again and you can even use the compost to grow new produce! It may seem like a big investment at the moment, but when you think about it in the long run, you will be saving money left and right. Not to mention you will also be doing something great for the Earth.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Your compost will compost quicker if the food products are smaller. It is recommended to cut up the food waste before throwing it in the composter to help speed up the process.
To make a nutrient-rich compost, you can source things from the outdoors also, not just from your kitchen. Mixing the food waste with fallen leaves or sawdust will improve the quality of your compost.
When your compost is ready, it will not have the foul smell of old food scraps. Instead, it will smell earthy and have the appearance of a crumbly soil. It will have typically shrank by about 1/2 of what you began with. Also, the scraps that you added to the pile, for the most part, should no longer be recognizable.
Other Factors to Consider
When you are purchasing a composter to meet your needs, you’ll want to think about safety options if you have pets and children. Some of these products offer features that will keep both pets and children safe, and those types of products also don’t create terrible smells that can attract rodents. So, you’ll have far fewer run-ins with rats and their friends, and you’ll also be able to make sure that your pets and kids are safe.
As with most anything else, the materials in which a specific compost bin is made with will play a vital role in the buying process. When talking about compost bins, a plethora of them will be made with recycled plastic. Now, yes, plastic is not often the most durable and optimal material in the world but here it works quite well. Also, most plastic utilized will be a darker tone (purposely) to better absorb heat from the sun.
But, not all models will be made with plastic and some will feature metal cores (oftentimes stainless steel). Stainless steel, in specific, will typically be the material of choice for kitchen compost bins. After all, stainless steel is durable, rust-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing. But, stainless steel is also not rustproof (it is the chromium that protects it from rust) so do keep that in mind.
Of course, even though there were none on this list, you may also see models made with wood. The concern here is that wood can rot so this makes it crucial, if you want a wooden model, to look for rot-resistant woods to be utilized.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: If I am purchasing my composter on a budget, do I need to worry about durability?
Not necessarily. You’ll notice we have many affordable, durable products on our list. So, it all depends on what you purchase. We have researched the materials that make up the composters and discussed how durable each is. We also combed through customer reviews to give you an honest review of each product.
q: Will I get the features I want if I am shopping on a budget?
As with anything, that is a possibility, but depending on what your budget is, you may have to sacrifice a few features when you purchase this product. So, try to focus on what you really need and think about how you will be using the machine.
q: Is insulation important with these products?
Insulation does help since it makes the whole break down process much faster and easier. It isn’t a necessity, however, and whether or not you need it or want it will depend on your budget and how fast you want to compost. If you live in a warm and humid environment, an insulated composter won't be something for you to invest in. A regular, non-insulated, composter would work just fine for you if the weather is typically warm.
q: What types of food scraps should I put in my composter?
As a general rule, you can compost anything that lived (meats) or anything that was produced from a living thing (trees and their fruits). Some examples include egg shells, fruit cores and peels, coffee grounds, cooked rice and pasta, stale chips and cereal, popcorn kernels, pizza crust, moldy cheese, and melted ice cream.
There are even some paper products that can be tossed into your compost bin as well. A few examples include cut up egg cartons or pizza boxes, cotton balls, toothpicks, and wine corks.
Some things that you should NOT include in your compost pile are cat and dog poop, non-bio-degradable tea bags and coffee filters, food stickers, and synthetic fertilizer.
q: If I have pets, what do I need to know about owning a composter?
Make sure you buy a product that is designed to keep pets out so they stay safe. That might cost a bit more, but it is very important. The leftover organics can be tempting for any animal. Besides the mess, we don't want any furry friends getting stuck inside the machine. As ugly and annoying as they can be, the same goes for rodents.
q: Is a thick plastic or metal design more durable?
It can all really depend. While metal is usually the more durable option, some manufacturers make very durable products with thick plastic that can hold up for years as well. However, metal is usually more expensive.
q: Can you compost all year round?
It all depends on geography, quite frankly, and where you are in the world. If you live in an area that does not experience below freezing climates at any point then you can compost non-stop, all year round. The same can’t be said for folks who live through colder winters as the rate of decomposition is going to slow down exponentially. In this case, the compost pile may freeze over. Then again, the same pile will be fine once the weather warms back up (if you keep adding scraps).
q: What should you avoid putting inside?
It needs to be said that you can’t simply throw everything you find in your bin. And, there are actually plenty of ingredients that you should stay away from. To start, just avoid any fats and oils. This can include anything from dairy products to meat. Additionally, avoid weeds that have seeds on them (though there are ways around this). Oh, and you should also avoid anything that may be contaminated in any way from outside sources.
q: What should you add?
Alright, so what can you add, then? Well, let’s just start off by saying there are plenty of items that you can use that will not be listed here. But, to give you a strong idea of the types of scraps and items that you can use for your compost, check some of these out. Any organic materials that are soft are usually fair game. This can include vegetable trimmings, stray leaves, fresh manure and grass clippings. Of course, you can also add “brown” ingredients such as hay, paper, and straw.
q: When is the compost finished?
Are you sick and tired of hearing the phrase, “it depends”? Well, that is the best answer to this question. But, here is the good news, you can often tell when your compost is ready just by looking at it. If you are looking at it and it appears that all the items have been broken down and it looks dark, then it is probably ready to rock. If you want another telling point, smell the compost (do not be disgusted by this) and if it smells like soil then you are most likely good to go.
q: Can compost be used as mulch?
For the most part, mulch is not the best use for compost. The main reason for this is due to the finished state of it. Instead of resembling mulch, the finished product of compost is going to resemble soil. If you have ever laid mulch than you know that this will not work the best. With that being said, if you just wanted to compost leaves this could do the trick. And, it is even better when the leaves are partially rotted.