Composting provides a way to reduce household solid waste and create free garden soil amendment. Compost bins and tumblers are commercially made devices that create compost. They come in many styles and most are about 3 cubic feet in structure. They hold waste products in a way that allows air to circulate and water to drain from them. It takes six to 10 weeks to produce finished compost, when it will be reduced in volume by 50 percent. Choose a compost bin or tumbler for home use that is appropriate for your amount of waste materials and the space you have to compost.
Top-rated Compost Bin
According to the Greener Choices consumer review organization, the Smith & Hawkin Biostack compost bin receives the best overall score of customer satisfaction. It is a unique three-tiered bin that allows the user to disassemble it one level at a time to turn and remove compost. Each layer has hinged corners for easy disassembling and storage. It is made from 60 percent recycled materials. Users report this compost bin creates compost faster than others because of the high rate of aeration to the waste materials. In the categories of convenience and durability the Biostack also receives the highest customer ratings. As of 2010, it sells for $90.
Good Compost Bins
The Garden Gourmet Compost Bin is popular, readily available, and sells for $80. It is also made of mostly recycled plastic. It has a top lid that garden and kitchen waste is put in, and a bottom door where the finished compost is removed. The bin holds 11 cubic feet of waste materials and has open slats in the sides where air circulates. The Garden Gourmet bin received an "excellent" for composting effectiveness, a "very good" for durability, and "good" for convenience.
Gardener's Supply Large Batch Composter, at $130, uses the "toss it and forget it" method. Greener Choices review rates it as the third best composter on the market. Customers report that it is easy to assemble from snap-together pieces and its top lid opens wide enough for the biggest load of leaves to be put in. there are doors at the bottom of each side of the bin for removal of finished compost. It receives a "fair" rating for composting effectiveness and convenience but "excellent" for durability
The Tumbleweed Compost Maker is a non-recycled plastic bin secured on sturdy, galvanized tubular steel legs that allow it to spin. The spinning aerates the kitchen waste and garden clippings inside, speeding up the decomposition process. It makes compost in as little as 21 days, depending on the mix of materials inside. The Tumbleweed has a 7 to 8 cubic feet capacity and costs $160. Consumer reviews give this tumbler a rating of "very good" for durability and "fair" for composting effectiveness and convenience.