Making compost requires three constants: heat, circulating air, and moisture. Sounds simple, right?
Even so, we find the huge variety of bins can be a bit of a choice paralysis! To point you in the right direction, a few composting enthusiasts in the community have reviewed the compost bins they have.
Joanna Hanrahan uses a Stationary Composter.
We have the Aerobin 400. This is the easy, no fuss, no turning composter. A 55-gallon (Aerobin 200) and 110 gallons (Aerobin 400) version is available. The latter is popular with schools.
The sides and lid are double-walled to retain the heat and circulate around the whole pile, not just the centre as is the case with traditional composters.
It has an aeration filter or lung in the middle for air flow which helps increase the microbes. No turning required!
Excess moisture drains at the bottom.
The Aerobin will create the first compost batch in twelve weeks from the time material is first added to the bin; as with all kinds of composts, it’s a continuous cycle feeding from the top and taking compost out of the bottom.
For our family, this bin is all pros!
Carolyn Butler uses a stackable Vermicompost.
I use a vermicompost (compost with worms) that’s stackable. The worms can take about half a pound a day, but the challenge is they need to be kept about 40°F. So in winter months they compost much slower. I keep it covered in my garage in the winter and outside out of direct sunlight in the summer (they don’t like being too hot either). I think I would rate it at a 4- because while it works, but I don’t think it’s big enough for my family—there’s 6+ of us. This isn’t an issue with the composter per se but more of a challenge with me getting my family to stop over buying and cooking in excess of what we eat.
Pro is that worms compost much faster than traditional composting, con is that you need to monitor them a bit more however I find it to be very easy, minimal upkeep really. I ordered the stackable composter from earth easy. And once you recover it you get a voucher for the world. You enter info online and worms are mailed to you locally. Easy peasy.
Arianne VanVliet uses a Mantis Twin Barrel Composter.
I purchased our compost about 20-25 years ago from Mantis.com. Back then I paid about $500. There weren’t many choices back then when looking for a large volume tumbling composter. I would rate it a 4.5/5.
Twin barrels allow for ready/aged compost in one barrel, and young compost in another barrel.
It is elevated, so wheelbarrow can be placed under to drop compost into wheelbarrow.
It’s very durable; 20-25 years later, this composter is still working fine.
It’s difficult/heavy to turn (although it does have a handle) when it has a lot of compost volume in it;
Due to its size, it takes up a lot of space; suits a medium-large yard.