Composting is more than an eco-friendly fad. Using decomposed waste materials can provide a nutrient-starved soil with the ingredients that it needs to allow plants to thrive. It is also becoming a viable option for those seeking to limit their mark on the world by limiting the kitchen and yard waste that fills landfills or requires burning in incinerators. In this article we are trying to find the best compost bin on the market today.
The process itself requires a contained area to store debris as it decomposes. While some homeowners build their own composting bins, there are pre-made products available with design features that make them great bins or even the best compost tumblers to use.
One of the major benefits to composting is the ability to improve the soil on our property. Compost makes an excellent fertilizer, adding a variety of nutrients and microorganisms throughout the yard. It adds a boost that plants can thrive and grow on.
Another consideration for many people is the environmentally friendly aspect of composting. According to some EPA estimates, Americans throw away approximately 35 million tons of food each year. Add to this the millions of tons of lawn clippings and tree leaves, and it is easy to see how composting can lessen the impact on landfills or incinerators.
Compost is also a natural source of nutrients that allows homeowners to avoid using chemicals on their lawn. This material provides a long-term source of nutrients instead of a quick infusion. Chemical treatments are also prone to being washed away easily, something that compost does not suffer from.
The best compost bin can provide ease of use while making sure that the compost made is up to a high standard, assuming the best practices are followed.
The first thing we will need to consider is space needed. The size of the bin will depend upon the amount of material a kitchen and yard can generate. A sunny location will speed up the decomposition process.
Next, we will need to decide if we’ll do “cold” composting or “hot” composting. Cold composting involves gathering waste materials from the yard and organic wastes from our trash and letting them break down over a year or more. Hot composting is a faster process that involves balancing air, carbon, nitrogen, and water.
Composting involves mixing “brown” and “green” materials to facilitate decomposition. Green materials include moist items from the kitchen such as fruits and vegetables. Brown materials include yard materials such as tree leaves or wood.
The goal is to find a balance between these materials to maintain an active compost pile. The brown materials are a source of carbon that is used by microorganisms as food.
Adding green materials helps to provide nitrogen, which is critical in building up the structure of the compost.
Air is important for the process and will help to prevent the compost pile from rotting and smelling. Moisture is also important as it helps to break down the materials. The best compost bin will allow us to maintain materials that smell like earth.
Using worms to aid in the decomposition process produces vermicompost. As the worms eat the scrap materials in the pile, they produce castings that contain high levels of nitrogen. It should be noted that the best worms for vermicompost are red worms or “red wigglers“. There are special compost bins that are designed to give home to worms, therefore the best worm composter will keep both the garden and the worms happy.
Organic sources from the home can be used including coffee grounds, eggshells, fruits, and vegetables. Wastes from the yard that can be used include bark chips, grass clippings, dry leaves, plants, and chopped pieces of wood. Items such as shredded newspaper, straw, and untreated wood sawdust can also be placed in the compost pile.
Backyard composting is not rocket science, if these simple rules are followed and you use the best compost bin for your particular needs, then nothing can go too wrong.
Some people will avoid using garlic or onions in their compost as these are considered a repellent for worms. Dairy products and meats (including the fats, grease, and oils they produce) should not be used. We should also stay away from using feces, diseased plants, weeds that seed, as well as treated wood in the compost.
Compost thermometer devices can be very beneficial for composting, letting us know the exact temperatures within the pile. This information can be used to determine when certain bacteria will form during decomposition and can tell us when it is time to turn the pile. The best compost tumbler products often include one.
This compost bin is roomy and is able to hold up to 216-gallons of material. The size makes it a nice option for homeowners with larger yards and families that produce a lot of organic kitchen waste. It is flimsy in structure, something that will allow it to be molded into a shape suitable to work with when setting it up in the yard.
GEOBIN includes closure keys with this product that aid with securing the bin’s walls together once it is unrolled. A feature worth noting is the expandability of this unit. It can extend up to four feet in height, a product design that allows it to be used efficiently no matter how much compost materials are used.
The open top means that there is no lid to hassle with when loading or turning the wastes contained within it. That also increases air exposure, a key ingredient in the decomposition process.
The Green Culture bin can hold up to 8.6 cubic feet of materials, a volume that should be adequate for average sized homes and lawns. This product is rigid thanks to its plastic resin body. That will allow it to maintain its shape and provide durability against the elements throughout the year.
It comes with four doors, a nice feature that allows access from all sides of the bin. Each side provides large holes for ventilation. This encourages air flow at all levels, a feature considered important for the best compost bin products. Each hole is partially covered with ribs that will aid in preventing rodents and other small animals from climbing into the contents.
A fitted lid is also included. This addition is easy to use and also aids in keeping unwanted visitors from climbing into the bin. The product weighs about 15-pounds, which should help it stay stationary, even when it is empty.
This metal bin product may prove ideal for those seeking convenience in their lives. It is designed to be airtight, a feature that allows the user to place food wastes into it without having to take a load outdoors after each meal. The lid contains an activated charcoal filter that can be replaced, helping to eliminate odors that may otherwise build up in the kitchen. This could make it the best indoor compost bin on the market today.
It is capable of holding a gallon of wastes before it requires dumping, a compact size that allows it to be placed nearly anywhere in the kitchen. The body of the bin is made from one piece construction. This not only prevents leaking, it also helps to eliminate ridges where moisture can gather and cause rust issues.
The 304-grade stainless steel is highly durable and will not scratch or rust. This makes the bin last and prevents it from becoming unsightly with age. If you want to use the best compost bin indoors and outdoors, then this is it.
This bin measures 36 x 36 x 31-inches, a size that allows it to hold over 23 cubic feet of debris. Not only does it hold nearly 174 gallons, it weighs 46-pounds fully assembled. That means that it will stay in place when bumped into or during a windstorm.
The bin is made from North American Cedar. It is natural looking, something that allows it to complement a garden or yard instead of detracting from it. The wood is also insect and rot-resistant, a feature worth considering with any outdoor wood product.
The open top and slate wood design help to provide complete airflow throughout the entire bin. In front, the wooden slats can be added without spacers. This can provide a lower access point without having to lift debris over the top. Each bin comes with four posts and 28 slats for easy assembly.
This compost tumbler measures 36 x 31 x 28-inches, providing a profile that is small enough that it will dominate the garden or lawn landscape.
The tumbler is made from recycled plastics, something that adds to the environmentally friendly aspect of the composting process.
Air vents are placed on all sides of the tumbler and are adjustable. This provides complete air circulation as well as finite control of the air that penetrates the materials inside. It assembles quickly and operates with very little effort.
Measuring less than 22-inches in all dimensions, the Envirocycle is a compact design that may prove a good choice for those looking for looks coupled with functionality.
This unit is designed and crafted in the US and arrives fully assembled and ready to use straight from the recycled box. One design element that adds to its smaller footprint is the lack of a crank, as the tumbler is turned using groves placed into the body.
It is made from high-quality plastics that are durable. This material is BPA free and protected from antioxidant build-up as well as UV.
The materials are also food safe, with all of these elements helping to keep it a more healthy and hygienic composting option. Red worms can be added into the device to help create vermicompost, and the tumbler can be used even during the colder winter months.
This product may prove ideal for those who like to produce vermicompost. One thing that we noted about the Worm Factory is its expandability. The unit comes with four trays but is designed to hold a maximum of eight. This feature is good for households that produce a lot of kitchen waste.
The standard four tray set-up is a good option for most residences, however. Each tray is removable, a feature that allows a user to unload a tray without having to disturb the others. The lid is designed to flip over and act as a stand for the trays while they are worked on.
Each worm factory comes with an instruction booklet and DVD. These added materials allow even a first time user to start with confidence. It includes mineral rock for nutrient supplements as well as a spigot for draining liquids from the trays.
To refill the trays you can look for earthworms for sales locally, or get the worms online. We recommend Uncle Jim’s Red Wigglers.
Red worms, or red wigglers, are the best worms for composting. Uncle Jim’s 250 worm count is guaranteed to be live when they arrive, which promotes confidence in this product line. They are also insect and mite free which prevents unwanted guests from taking up residence in the bin or tumbler.
The worms themselves range in length from one to three-inches and they are as thick as a pencil lead. Their diminutive size is made up for by the appetite that these creatures possess. With 250 worms per package, there are plenty of these eating machines to produce vermicompost in no time.
The key feature of the worms is the castings that they produce. This bi-product contains seven times the phosphate, five times the nitrogen, and 11 times the potash than average soil holds. The rich compost produced can be used to supplement gardens or yards.
The best compost bins and tumblers we looked at above cover a wide range of sizes for almost any home. Their designs range from simple plastic mesh to hardy plastic or wood frames that provide ample air circulation.
While most products are intended for outdoor use, there are bins and tumblers available that can be used indoors thanks to airtight designs.
We hope that this article was able to provide a general insight into composting, as well as offer a wide selection of bin and tumbler products worth considering. Taking advantage of the waste we produce helps the environment and pocketbook!