Compost has been nicknamed “black gold” by gardeners and if you know what wonders it can do for your soil quality; you probably swear by it too. Composters have made the process fairly automated and while compost is available in a packaged form. The market version doesn’t even come close to the homemade variety. The difference in quality and effectiveness is the same as a home cooked meal and a TV dinner.
Any gardener; avid or a beginner needs a composter. However, composters come in indoor and outdoor varieties because it is simply the better way of disposing of organic waste and even if you are not interested in gardening, composting is the “greener” choice to make. Along with being a way of returning nutrients to the soil it is also a small step towards recycling in a big way.
- Top 10 Composters
- Composter Reviews
- Tumbler Bin and Compost Tea Maker
- Redmon Green Culture 65-Gallon Compost Bin
- Yimby Tumbler Composter, Color Black
- Premium Quality Stainless Steel Compost Bin 1.3 Gallon, Includes Charcoal Filter
- Good Grips Easy Clean Compost Bin
- Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter
- Joraform Compost Tumbler JK 270
- Urbalive Indoor Worm Farm – Organic Compost Vermicomposter
Top 10 Composters
|The Most Beautiful Composter in the World, Made in the USA, Food Safe, BPA and Rust Free, No Assembly Required, Envirocycle Composting Tumbler Bin and Compost Tea Maker||Envirocycle||$$$$$|
|Redmon Green Culture 65-Gallon Compost Bin||WC Redmon||$$|
|Yimby Tumbler Composter, Color Black||Yimby||$$$|
|Premium Quality Stainless Steel Compost Bin 1.3 Gallon, Includes Charcoal Filter - Utopia Kitchen||Utopia Kitchen||$|
|Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter, Green||Cascade Manufacturing Sales, Inc.||$$|
|Jora Composter Tumbler JK270||Jorafoam||$$$$$$|
|Urbalive Indoor Worm Farm - Organic Compost Vermicomposter, Chic European Design (Anthracite)||Plastia||$$$|
|OXO Good Grips Easy Clean Compost Bin, White||OXO||$|
What is Composting?
Composting is nature’s process of recycling organic waste by decomposing it into a rich soil like compost. Backyard composting has been around for the longest time, decaying material provides better plants and crop is a notion that has existed since ancient times. All living things will decompose and it is nature’s way to ensure that whatever decomposes must become a part of nature’s cycle by returning to it. Backyard composting is essentially an accelerated version of what nature does slower. Compost looks like dark brown soil with a scent of the forest floor and a crumbly texture. Organic waste can be utilized and so much of what we throw away has the capacity to be recycled, only if we put some effort in to the process. Modern composters have made recycling organic waste easier than ever before.
There are three types of composting that is generally practiced by gardeners and conscious homeowners,
This type of composting is easiest in larger gardens and yards that have a good balance of greens and browns. Grass clippings and organic material like food scraps along with fallen leaves and straw are excellent raw material for making compost right at home.
Vermicomposting or “worm composting” is a choice made by people with smaller areas like apartments or terrace gardens etc. Since there is always plenty of organic waste that can be utilized within a home from egg shells to food scraps.
This type of composting can be tricky for if you’re not an experienced gardener. It can be hard to avoid slime, weed seeds and mulch when doing this type of “manual composting”. Freshly cut grass can be left over a lawn to decompose and become a part of the soil in the natural way, if you are not looking to make a compost pile. However, the timing and the overall effort and chances of success are risky in this method.
Why We Need Composting?
Organic waste from our gardening and food constitutes nearly 30% of all accumulated waste. More over the average household dustbin has 20% organic waste. If this 20% can be biodegraded to form a useful product that benefits the environment and aids in the growth of your plants why send that waste to a landfill? Essentially every individual has the power to reduce, in fact utilize, 20% waste on their end.
By composting kitchen and yard waste, not only is the soil of your garden benefiting from this, you are playing an integral role in diverting waste from landfills and waterworks. Composting has been known to improve plant growth and immunity making the usage of pesticides unnecessary. Compost, if done right improves the soils absorption capabilities and moisture content by providing necessary nutrients.
Here are some of the very basic advantages of composting:
- Compost can benefit even sandy and clay soils because organic waste promotes the growth of good bacteria that in turn nurture the soil.
- Moisture is better retained and the spongy nature of soil is maintained because compost provides a slow release of nutrients giving both the soil time to slowly absorb and retain them for the plants
- Home-made compost saves money and provides better results as opposed to bagged manure and soil conditioners.
- Compost adds to the cycle of plant growth, you are benefiting too by eating plants that are grown compost because their nutrient value is enhanced.
- Composting is an important aspect of recycling and a lesson in sustainability for the times to come.
Choosing the Right Composter
Gardening has evolved; having a green thumb doesn’t just mean laboring away in the sun anymore (it doesn’t mean it’s eliminated either!). Many tasks have reduced workload thanks to automation in the field. Gone are the days when a compost pile was the way in your backyard! Thanks to the wide variety of composters available in the market, composting has become more efficient and easy. There are three types of composters available in the market, depending on your need you should always invest for the long run.
The best thing about these composters is that they never really stop functioning and waste material can be added any given time. These bins can easily handle organic material of different varieties and are a great friend of gardeners. However, these composters are slow and the finished compost filters to the bottom of the bin from where it can utilized a few times a year. The good thing is that there is no tracking required the compost is formed with minimal observation; the gardener can simply toss the biodegradable waste and let the composter do its job.
While continuous composters are efficient they are slow. Batch composters are accelerated, usually by a tumbling action. Worm composters and most indoor composters fall under this category. The organic material is thrown in and it “cooks” the compost in 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the strength and efficiency of your composter. The drawback of batch composters is that they need to be monitored for moisture and turned daily. Along with this you will have to keep a track of every stockpile, this can be irksome because of the potential odors and the care required in maintaining the material. This type of composter is for the avid gardener or anyone who is willing to put the effort and planning in to the process for faster results.
It is not necessary to have a large scale operation to compost your organic waste; it’s simply a better choice. While indoor composting is on a reduced scale it is still invaluable for the house plants, terrace or any type of smaller garden. Indoor composters are specially designed for indoor usage, with tight bins and attractive designs to be utilized for kitchen waste. Worm farms or worm composting is a popular indoor method for composting. It offers an excellent learning possibility; working with the little recyclers can be truly fascinating.
Now that you know the types of composters, you know which one is ideal for you.
Placing Your Composter
The kind of compositor you buy greatly depends on where you will be placing it, even the type of compositing relies on this factor. If you are placing a compositor in a large space or yard, it needs to be under the sun, on well-drained soil and larger in size to meet the needs of the available space.
If you loosen the soil underneath the bin it attracts worms and bacteria that accelerate the process of compost formation. Ideally outdoor composters need organic waste in layers with plenty of heat access. The layering within the bin needs to be done with different varieties of waste, each layer at a 6-12 cm depth. However, if your operation is indoors placing a composter that has a visually appealing design is better. It can be placed anywhere in the house without worry. The only concern with keeping a compositor inside the house is to assure that the compositor has an air tight lid.
If you are looking to compost larger quantities of food scraps, browns and greens from the yard, a larger composter is better. The smaller varieties are good at composting kitchen waste. The batch compositors are good at composting anything from grass cuttings to disposable nappies. While indoor usage ensures organic waste it is good to mix some grass or animal manure to the bin because they produce enough heat to jumpstart the decomposition process. It is better to mix different kinds of organic waste to prevent slime from forming.
Heat and Mixing
Some modern composter designs take care of heat production and assure mixing of the waste. In the absence of the right amount of heat the compost can become a liability because there is a chance of new weed seeds taking root in your garden. If the composting is slow and/or incomplete this issue can arise, what’s worse is that due to the nutritional benefits of the compost the weeds become very stubborn to and impossible to get rid of.
The right temperature of the compost is 130-150 F, nearly all weed seeds are killed at 140 F within 30 days. Mixing assures even distribution of heat, the compost material is always hot from the center. Tumbling feature in a composter is a must. Always try to opt for a composter that provides both of these features and you are good to go.
Tumbler Bin and Compost Tea Maker
The Tumbler bin by Envirocycle is definitely a pioneer in compositing innovation, true to its company’s promise. While this is not the most expensive item on our list it is easily the one worth every penny. The design is elegant and space requirement is compact and the weight is reasonable. What sets this bin apart from its counterparts is the option of a “compost tea collecting base”; a base that accumulates liquid compost that is amazing for anything you plant. At 26.5 pounds it is not the heaviest model in the market and can be placed anywhere from a patio to a balcony. The composting procedure becomes clean, pleasant and quick with fine compost ready within two weeks at a time! While some consider the pricing as a drawback if your requirements are of a larger yard or garden this bin will be a god send. Envirocycle also boasts an unmatched customer service which makes this an essential element for your composting needs.
- American made
- No assembly required
- Has the capacity to produce liquid and solid compost.
- Sturdy built
- BPA and rust free
- Made from UV and antioxidant protected materials
- One of the fastest compost productions in the market
- Incredible customer service
- Tumbler feature
Redmon Green Culture 65-Gallon Compost Bin
The best feature of this compost bin is the 65 gallon capacity; it is probably the largest bin in this price bracket. The design is good and the plastic is durable. The price is the major catch here and the bin composts from anywhere between 30-45 days. The assembly is pretty straightforward and it keeps the odor and the material tightly lidded. However, it does require help in terms of compositing, you will need to turn the mass every week or so while monitoring the temperature. This is a good composter for the price and works fine.
- Massive capacity
- Easy to assemble
- Attractive design
- Perfect large compost needs
- Very affordable
- The lid could be better, not easy to take off especially when shifting organic waste
- Not cold friendly, crack in low temperatures
- No extra features
- Top pops easily and doesn’t keep animals out when kept outdoors
Yimby Tumbler Composter, Color Black
Gardeners that are looking for a tumbler composter in a tight budget can get one of the best values for money with this model by Yimbly. This composter makes the process easy and eliminates the hand work in composting. There is no mixing or digging labor involved, while the composter demands that you give at least five to six turn every third day the composter has one of the fastest “cooking” times in the market. The capacity is 36 gallons, excellent for outdoor and large scale compost needs. The company promises one of the finest quality composts (under the right conditions) within two weeks.
People with yards that are looking to meet large scale compost need at a quicker pace this is the perfect choice.
- The tumbling composter has two chambers
- Recycled plastic bin
- Has a sturdy steel frame
- Air vents are adjustable
- Compost cooking time is as little as 2 weeks
- 37-gallon capacity
- Comes with a compost starter bag
- Assembly takes time and is complicated
- Usage is outdoor only
- Can leak and create unpleasant odors for some types of compost
- Requires maintenance
Premium Quality Stainless Steel Compost Bin 1.3 Gallon, Includes Charcoal Filter
This is an easy to care, durable and extremely affordable indoor composter bin made from grade 201 stainless to prevent any rusting. This probably the most affordable and easy to use indoor composter on our list, yes it requires cleaning and maintenance after every composting but it is excellent for kitchen use. Its major selling point is the charcoal filters which control the smell completely. Since composting is all about decaying and odors are very unpleasant, this indoor composter is excellent for small scale usage and not worrisome.
This bin is airtight and definitely a smart choice if you’re conducting composting indoors. The size of the bin is manageable and it is lightweight, it can be placed anywhere however, since most organic waste originates in the kitchen that is the best location for it. The charcoal filters need to be cleaned properly with soap water and the bin itself shouldn’t be left dirty to avoid slime. All in all this is definitely the cheapest indoor composter available with good value for money.
- Perfect for indoor usage
- Material does not rust
- Extremely affordable
- Great for kitchen usage
- Capacity is only 1.3 gallons
- Needs to be cleaned weekly
- Filters need to be cleaned
- Compost needs to be emptied every week
Good Grips Easy Clean Compost Bin
The good grips compost bin by OXO is more for temporary storage of organic waste and over the counter kitchen usage than long-term composting. The bin’s design is sleek and it looks good (a plus point considering what’s in it!). The odors are tightly locked away. The making of this bin makes it worth the money, which is not much either. The material is very smooth and crevice free. This is a very important feature because food and liquid tends to build up as slime and molds rather than compost. You don’t need to scrub at it yourself as this tiny bin is dishwasher safe.
- Dishwasher safe
- Lightweight; barely 1.2 pounds
- Contoured bottom and removable lid makes emptying easy
- Interior is smooth prevents slime and molds from forming
- Very little capacity
- Needs to be emptied and cleaned regularly
Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter
While the worm factory is time consuming it is a project that can have fruitful labors. Worm composting is probably the best way to convert kitchen waste into compost. It is a known fact to avid gardeners that worm generated compost is the richest in quality. While the process can be cumbersome and slow the results are worth it. The Worm Factory by Nature’s footprint is appealing because of its “green construct” by that we mean that it was made from recycled plastic.
The worm factory utilizes stackable trays wherein the worms work their way up from the lowest tray making compost as they migrate for food. The worm factory produces leachate as well; a type of liquid fertilizer that can be drained from the spigot.
The Worm Factory is not a way to produce compost; it’s a project that takes time and commitment. The composter comes with a detailed DVD and instructional manual to help you get the most out of it. For beginners the initial setup and the first compost cycle might take to get right but it is worth the effort and time. This composter saves space and creates a farm that composts regular high quality food for the soil.
- Made from recycled plastic
- Creates the best kind of worm compost
- Can be expanded to seven trays
- Lightweight and takes little space, can be easily utilized indoors
- Built in compost tea collector
- Two types of compost produced
- Design issues, could be better
- Time consuming and slow (be prepared to look after a 1000 worms at some point!)
- Lid is not good does not repel flies or offer proper coverage
- Leakage issues
- Needs a worm ladder
Joraform Compost Tumbler JK 270
The Joraform is a mammoth composter with a whopping capacity of 106 gallons, masterfully engineered, weighs almost 52 pounds and is considered one of the best composters in the world. The Swedish make offers excellent durability and quick results thanks to the tumbler feature. However, the lifespan of the Joraform is debatable. The insulation provides higher temperatures (a huge plus) and the galvanized construct offers sustainability.
The Joraform is one the most popular and definitely the most expensive composter in the market. The hefty price tag is justified by the results and massive capacity of the compost produce in a single batch. It is an excellent investment for ranchers and people with larger properties that could do with more compost in a single batch.
- Wonderfully designed and easy management
- Largest capacity
- Can even composite meat and difficult organic material without fuss and odor
- Strong construction
- Quick production of compost
- Potential for temperatures as high as 160F
- Tow chambered
- Off the ground design
- Very expensive
- Lifespan is not much
- Very complicated assembly
- Very heavy
Urbalive Indoor Worm Farm – Organic Compost Vermicomposter
This European designed, indoor composter is beautiful to look at and doesn’t even hint at being a composter. The design is the main reason behind its higher price and placed indoors it looks like furniture.
The vermicomposter is effective, tidy and performs composting without any odor. If you’re starting out with composting this little bin is the perfect way to start.
- Beautifully designed
- Indoor friendly
- Durable construct
- Lightweight and manageable