The 10 Best Composting Bins

Updated March 12, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Nourish your plants while being environmentally conscious and reducing the amount of trash you create by collecting your scraps in a composting bin. With time, your coffee grounds, egg shells, and vegetable peels will become nutrient-rich fertilizer. We've selected composters with a range of capacities, designs, and speeds of decomposition, so you can pick just the right one for your home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best composting bin on Amazon.

10. Enviro World FreeGarden Earth

The Enviro World FreeGarden Earth might resemble an upside-down trash can, but that doesn't mean it's not an effective tool for turning your food and lawn scraps into nutrient-rich soil. Its lid twists on securely, deterring critters from entering through the top.
  • retractable bottom access door
  • very low maintenance design
  • animals can chew through vent holes
Brand Enviro World
Model EWC-30
Weight 22.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Chef'n EcoCrock

When space is limited, the ultra-modern, ceramic Chef'n EcoCrock is a creative countertop solution. The angled interior plastic bucket offers mess free scraping and easy cleaning, but the holes on the lid can attract flies.
  • includes 2 charcoal filters
  • can be used with plastic bag liners
  • a bit small for busier kitchens
Brand Chef'n
Model 401-420-120
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Good Ideas Soil Machine Pro

The Good Ideas Soil Machine Pro comes fully assembled to start breaking down refuse right away, and its black exterior attracts heat from the sun to expedite the process. It's also well ventilated thanks to the air holes on its sides.
  • drain in base for liquid runoff
  • holds over 50 gallons of scraps
  • materials are not the most durable
Brand Good Ideas Soil Machine
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Worm Factory 360

The Worm Factory 360 provides a simple and comprehensive introduction to vermicomposting. It ships with four trays and can be expanded up to eight for those times when you need some extra room. Its specialized design keeps air circulating to help it work quickly.
  • includes a handy instructional guide
  • built-in worm tea collection spout
  • not for outdoor use in some climates
Brand Nature's Footprint
Model WF360 Black
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Utopia Kitchen 0051

Start putting your scraps to use today with the stylish Utopia Kitchen 0051. It features a stainless steel design that can hold several days of food waste on your kitchen counter while complementing modern appliances and decor beautifully.
  • charcoal liner is replaceable
  • material won't harbor bacteria
  • lid can be difficult to remove
Brand Utopia Kitchen
Model UK0051
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Yimby Tumbler

The Yimby Tumbler is a winner thanks to its specialized two chamber design that any beginner can use to start seeing results in as little as two weeks. Its bin is made from sturdy recycled plastic, and has adjustable air vents for added control.
  • sliding doors open easily
  • rotates for faster decomposition
  • assembly is quite difficult
Brand Yimby
Model IM4000
Weight 26.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Algreen Products Soil Saver

The Algreen Products Soil Saver is designed to produce amazingly rich fertilizer. It features a robust plastic construction with two sliding bottom doors for simple removal of the finished product, and a locking lid that bars most animals from entry effectively.
  • large holes maximize airflow
  • top-loading design for easy access
  • good value for the price
Brand Algreen
Model 01512
Weight 27 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Jora Tumbler JK270

If you're looking for the ideal combination of stylish and functional design, the Jora Tumbler JK270 may be the one for you. While it is considerably expensive, it does its job quite well, with two easy-access compartments and a sturdy stand that makes rotation a breeze.
  • handsome green finish
  • rust-resistant galvanized steel body
  • insulated to retain heat
Brand Jora Composter
Model JK 270
Weight 52 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Oxo Good Grips Easy Clean

The compact Oxo Good Grips Easy Clean offers convenience and style all in one, with a removable hinged lid design that allows for quick access and limits the escape of unwanted odors. It comes in your choice of two stylish color combinations as well.
  • can be opened with one hand
  • safe to clean in the dishwasher
  • seamless interior prevents buildup
Brand OXO
Model 1596000
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Envirocycle E20C

If you're in search of top quality, look no further than the Envirocycle E20C. Made in the USA of food-grade, rust-free, and UV-resistant materials, it is built like a tank, yet boasts an attractive low-profile design that will blend into any garden.
  • exceptionally easy to rotate
  • base collects the liquid fertilizer
  • great for small decks in urban homes
Brand Envirocycle
Model E20C-BK
Weight 30.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Choosing The Right Compost Bin

Composting is eco friendly, economically savvy, and, done properly, can be relatively easy, too. But proper composting requires a fair amount of patience and effort at the outset; getting your compost bin to start working takes many days or even weeks of initial care. Composting can also be relatively messy work, complete with odors and potential spills, not to mention the attraction of flies, raccoons, and other potential pests.

When you hear the words "compost bin," you might think of a cube shaped box that sits behind a house or in an alley near trash cans. You might also picture a compact can that perches atop the kitchen counter. Or perhaps you think of a large drum that can be rotated about, tossing the material within it.

If you thought of any of these items, you're right: all are compost bins. And they don't represent the entire array of options at your disposal. Before choosing the right bin for your home, first take a few moments to consider these factors.

Once established, a compost bin can be largely odor free, essentially self sustaining, and can yield you nutrient rich soil perfect for planting edible crops or flowers or for rejuvenating the soil of your lawn of landscaping. To establish that proper compost system, make sure you're honest with yourself about your level of commitment.

There's nothing wrong with merely maintaining a small countertop compost bin for the production of a bit of fertilizing soil you will use in some planters. Several compact compost bin options are at your disposal, a few of which actually look good enough to add style and function to your kitchen. Make sure to consider a unit that features a charcoal filter to reduce odors.

Don't burden yourself with a large rotating compost bin if you're unlikely to actually fill, moisten, and turn the unit often enough to justify its purchase. However, if you have some space available on your property and you think you will indeed stick with a composting routine, there is no better way to turn food scraps and yard trimmings into useful material than by using a large, well made compost bin.

Larger compost bins are more effort at the outset, but once established they require only a few minutes of work each week, at least until a batch of compost is ready for removal and use. Rotating compost bins and multi-level tiered bins each require specific maintenance that comes with a bit of a learning curve, but once you have their use mastered, they are efficient and reliable in their production of an organic, safe alternative to chemical based fertilizers.

Proper Compost 101

Establishing proper compost is all about balance. That balance comes primarily in the form of relatively equal parts of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials coexisting in your compost bin. The easy way to remember this need for balance is to think of it as a mix between "brown" and "green" materials.

Brown materials, which supply the needed carbon, include everything from dried leaves to pine needles to straw to shredded paper (safe so long as it is free of dye and chemicals). Green materials included everything from fruit and vegetable scraps to green weeds or leaves to wilting flowers to green grass trimmings. You need to not only add brown and green materials in roughly equal balance, but your need to mix them within your compost bin. This means rotating a bin of possible, or else turning the compostable material using a shovel or rake (or just a large spoon, depending on the type and size of bin you use).

The next balancing act for maintaining a compost bin is the need for air and water. Proper compost needs both, but can be damaged by too much of either. When it comes to air (the oxygen being the operative) make sure your compost has constant access to a bit of air, as with slots or holes in the side of a bin, or else open the lid of a closed bin at least once daily. With water, the key is to keep the compost moist. Too dry, and it will not properly break down; too wet, and compost will turn into a muddy mass that precludes decomposition and will be hard to spread.

A Few Compost "Dos" And "Don'ts"

Establishing a great compost system takes some work but is rewarding. Ruining a batch of compost can be frightfully easy and disheartening. So here are some mistakes and pitfalls to avoid at all costs and a few ideas to run with.

You should not compost most grains or rices: cooked rice and breads can attract pests, and they tend to quickly grow mold and break down at different speeds than most other materials. Traces of grain waste are fine, such as the last bit of rice in a stir fry meals leftovers or a crust or two from a sandwich.

Never compost meat or dairy products. They will smell awful and can contain harmful bacteria. They also attract pests.

Don't pack down your compost. It may be tempting to tamp down that pile so you can fit in more scraps or trimmings, but compacting the compostable material will impair the decomposition process.

Do add worms to your compost bin, as they can speed up the process and help your bin produce quality compost. Worms should only be used in larger, outdoor bins though.

It's also a good idea to have another area to store "finished" compost. As soon as a batch of food scraps and brown waste has broken down into compost, you should get it out of your bin and start a new cycle.

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Last updated on March 12, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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