Compost Bins

OK, now we know how to make compost, and what we can use to compost, and we're ready to get started. But wait, what are we going to use to put all of our organic goodies while they are being converted into a nutrient rich compost?

There are SO many methods and devices to hold your burgeoning compost. Compost bins, compost tumblers, you can even build your own compost bin. They range from simple and quite inexpensive to complex, even attractive containers that cost considerably more. I'll include several options here for you to choose from. Hopefully one will work for you and fit your lifestyle.

The Compost Pile

Who it's good for: people that don't want to spend a great deal of money, people that have a good bit of property/land, people that don't mind attracting wildlife.

Growing up, my grandmother had a special patch of ground on her land where she tossed her yard and food waste. Every few days she'd stir it up, or water it, and typically pay little attention to it. She did this because garbage pickup wasn't available where she lived and she certainly didn't have a garbage disposal. This was the best way for her to get rid of much of her waste. And it turns out, it benefited the environment and her future gardens.

Variations: Enclose your pile with chicken wire.

Pros: Simple, requires almost no investment, can grow as large as you have space for.

Cons: This method typically requires land or at the very least a large yard. This is not the best method for urban or suburban dwellers. It can attract some wildlife.

The Homemade Compost Bin

Compost Bin Who it's good for: people that do not want to invest a great deal of money and are somewhat handy or knows someone who is. 

You can make a compost bin using many methods. One very easy method is to purchase a plastic garbage can. How much room you have will determine how large the garbage can should be. In the past, I have used a 32 gallon outdoor can.  Drill several holes in the bottom and in the cover of the can so that your compost can breathe. Bins can also be made of old wooden pallets, wooden rabbit cages, old fence posts, etc. Any enclosure that will allow the compost some air circulation.

Pros: Simple, inexpensive, does not require a great deal of space. Small containers can be used in an area as small as an apartment balcony.

Cons: It can be cumbersome to stir your compost using a can. It is easier not to fill the can more than 60%. Requires some effort to put together or build.

The Pre-Fabricated Compost Bin


Who it's good for: People that do not want to spend a great deal of time preparing their bin and are less concerned with price.

There are endless options of ready made compost bins that can make composting super easy. Some bins are tumblers, so that you can stir or rotate your compost easily and without manually needing to stir it. They come in an wide array of sizes, styles, and prices.


Pros: Incredibly easy. Many available sizes to fit almost any type of space.

Cons: Can be expensive.

Indoor Composter

Who it's good for: People living in apartments, condos, or otherwise have little room for a larger bin.

Pros: Easy, small, can be used indoors without odors

Cons: Can be expensive, the compost bin is small, so the amount of compost you can produce is limited. Requires an activator be added.

Spinning Composter


Whether they're rooftop dwellers or nestled under a bedroom balcony, your Roma tomatoes and burrito-bound jalapenos will thrive with healthy compost. (less scraps for the landfill, too.) Our urban-savvy Spinning Composter is made of 50% post-consumer recycled plastic and it produces up to 85 pounds of odorless, fertile compost in about a month. Removable base collects water drippings — a nutritious byproduct. Eight built-in rollers spin to mix in oxygen and speed decomposition. Secure latching door is hinged for filling, detaches for emptying. Arrives assembled.

Continuous-Use Composter

Using a patented, rotation - bio-drum - the Continuous-Use Composter moves compost material along an outer drum and then back toward a collection chamber as it's rotated. By the time it reaches the output port it's a light, fluffy end product. You can load this composter with kitchen scraps continuously, making it unlike typical drum composters, which require you to stop adding material at some point. Made from green polyethylene.

More Information on Composting

Make Compost
Make compost from your kitchen scraps and yard waste. Reduce your waste while providing nutrients for your plants and garden.

How to Compost
Learn how to compost and find which option will work best for you. Learn which methods produce compost fastest, and which require the most maintenance and attention.

What to Compost
Provides specific information on what to compost and what not to compost.

Worm Compost
Provides information on how to worm compost, or vermicompost. Learn why you might want to include red wigglers in your compost plans.

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