Comparing Composters

Overview

With the recently reinvigorated focus on eco-friendly living, more compost bins are commercially available now than ever before. Many options are good, but the key lies in determining which one is best for your individual needs. The three most important factors to consider are what you wish to compost, how quickly you want to create compost, and what volume of items you have to compost. Available space should also be factored in. If you live in a single-family home, the sky is the limit; check with your building association or landlord if you live in apartments or attached housing.

Step 1

Consider the volume of items you wish to compost. If you will be composting grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste, you will need a larger composter (1 cubic yard) rather than one of the smaller ones sold today. Depending on your needs, you may even need two bins to hold compost at different levels of decomposition.

Step 2

Choose whether you want to do hot composting or cold composting. Hot composting requires a 1 cubic yard or larger composter, but will create usable compost more quickly. Additionally, it will get hot enough to kill many weed seeds, if that is a concern.

Step 3

Think about the speed and ease with which you want to create usable compost. Tumbling composters can help create compost faster and will make the chore of compost turning on a regular basis much easier.

Step 4

Contemplate aeration of the compost. All compost bins, no matter the size, should provide adequate airflow to the compost, as composting is an aerobic process.

Step 5

Factor in pest resistance. Raccoons, rats and other wildlife may become interested in the odors emanating from your compost bin. It is important to choose a bin that will not allow them access.

Step 6

Consider whether or not the bin will be easy to use. A compost bin that is not easy to load and unload will discourage you from using it, which defeats the purpose of having a compost bin.

Step 7

Read reviews of compost bins before buying. Some are under $100, but some are considerably more. Identify known problems before you make your decision and purchase.

References

  • King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks: How to Choose a Compost Bin
Keywords: Choose compost bin, Compare compost bins, Compost bin decision

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.