Best Compost Bins: Tips For Choosing The Perfect Compost Bin

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By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

Composting is an excellent way to reduce kitchen and yard waste by turning it into something useful. If you have a yard with any sort of green waste, you have what it takes to compost. Compost puts essential nutrients back into the soil and reduces your garbage by hundreds of pounds yearly. Compost bins for the home are available at a number of retail outlets, or you can make a homemade compost bin if want to save some money.

To make choosing the perfect compost bin easier for those just starting out, let’s take a look at some of the most common compost bins for the home:

  • Basic Composter – The basic composter is a self-contained unit with a lid that keeps your compost neat. These composters are great for small yards or urban dwellers.
  • Spinning Composter – Spinning compost units help you keep your compost rotated with the turn of a handle. Although spinning composters cost a little more than basic models, they generally cook the compost quicker.
  • Indoor Composter – For those that either don’t have the room outside or are not keen on an outdoor compost project, a small kitchen composter is just the thing. Indoor composters that work without electricity use beneficial microbes. Kitchen scraps are turned into beneficial compost within two weeks in this handy little unit.
  • Worm ComposterWorms do an excellent job turning scraps into usable organic matter. Worm composters are self-contained units that take a little while to get the hang of. However, once you and your worms have an understanding, there is no stopping them.
  • Electric Composter – If money is no object, an electric “hot” composter is an excellent option. These modern units fit right into today’s gourmet kitchen and can handle up to 5 pounds of food per day. Within two weeks, you will have nitrogen-rich compost for your garden. Unlike other composters that limit what you can put in, this model takes everything, including meat, dairy and fish, and turns them into compost within two weeks.
  • Homemade Compost Bin – Homemade compost bins can be constructed from just about any material such as old wood pallets, scrap lumber, cinder blocks or chicken wire. There are numerous sites on the Internet that provide free compost bin plans. You can even make your own spinning compost bin from large 55-gallon plastic drums. If you are creative, the sky is the limit with regards to design. Although a homemade compost bin requires some work, it is generally less expensive in the long run than retail bins.

The best compost bins are the ones that fit the space you have available, are within your budget range, and do the job you need them to do. Be sure to read all the reviews and do some research before choosing the perfect compost bin for your needs.

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