If you’d like to start making your own compost but don’t have a large outdoor space, a kitchen compost bin is the perfect solution. Don’t assume that indoor composting automatically means bugs everywhere. By following the tips in this guide, you can have a comfortable, productive composting experience.
Techniques for Indoor Composting
There are several useful techniques for indoor composting, each of which is useful for different spaces, levels of experience and preferences.
Countertop Compost Bin – This is perhaps the easiest method. Simply buy a well-sealed bin and begin storing scraps in it. You’ll use this container to layer food scraps with newspaper and potting mix, which will eventually become finished compost. However, this method can take a while, so you might have to have more than one bin while you wait for the first to finish.
Worm Composting – In a regular outdoor compost bin, microorganisms process and break down the food scraps to turn it into compost. Indoors, this can’t quite happen, but you can mimic the process by composting with worms. There are pre-made kits that made this much easier, but it’s still something you should research and plan for ahead of time.
Blending Your Compost – A useful technique for speeding up countertop composting is to add your food scraps to a blender until they turn into a slurry, then add the slurry to the bin. This will break down much faster than whole scraps, though it might smell a bit funny while you’re doing it.
Freezing Compost – If none of the above methods appeal to you, you can still contribute to community compost bins by composting in your freezer. Keep your food scraps in a plastic bin or bag in your freezer, where they won’t smell or attract bugs. When the container is full, take it to your nearest compost collection.
What Are the Advantages of a Kitchen Compost Bin?
Many people assume that you need a large outdoor compost pile to successfully make compost, but in fact an indoor compost bin has many advantages.
Compost for Your Garden
Using compost is perhaps the single best way to grow healthy, happy plants. It’s chemical-free and mimics the way that nature recycles nutrients back into plants. While you can buy compost from a gardening store, making your own compost allows you complete control over the ingredients.
Recycle Food Scraps
Composting also prevents all those food scraps from going into the land fill and polluting the environment. People tend to waste an enormous amount of groceries each year. The idea that all that trash could be turned into nutritious, useful material is pretty amazing.
Outdoor compost piles cease to be useful when it gets too cold out for microorganisms to do their work. If you have an indoor composting system, you never have to shut down your composter — you can keep making rich compost all year round.
What to Look for in a Kitchen Compost Bin
Buying your first kitchen compost bin? Great! Here are a few things to look out for.
Tight Seal – Compost bins need to have ventilation. However, you want your lid to fit tightly on top. This is of huge importance for those who live in small indoor spaces and don’t want an influx of flies.
Sturdy Material – Look for a material that is natural and solid enough to withstand all the biological processes happening inside — without becoming stained, warped or smelly.
Size – Keep in mind that this bin will be taking up counter space. You want a composter that is compact, yet still roomy enough to be functional — if it’s too small, you’ll have to swap it out for an extra bin when it gets full anyway.
Features – Consider whether you want to get a compost bin with worms or pre-made fermenting mixes. These options have both pros and cons. Other bins have multiple drawers, and still others are able to break down meat, fish and other items that can’t usually be composted.
Indoor Composting Tips
For a pleasant, mostly smell-free compost experience, follow these tips. You may not get it right immediately, but with experience you’ll be able to avoid most pitfalls.
Balance Your Greens and Browns
Composting is all about balance. A compost pile that is off-balance won’t decompose correctly and may begin to stink. You need brown material like newspaper, dried leaves or wood chips, along with green material such as kitchen scraps. Try adding a handful or two of browns every time you add food scraps.
Composting is an active experience, not a passive one. You need to regularly turn your bin in order to get things moving. Use a trowel or other tool to move the contents around. If it’s small enough, you may also be able to shake or roll it.
If your compost does smell, it means that the balance is off or there is not enough air-flow. Try adding more newspaper or more holes. Avoid adding particularly smelly or soggy foods.
Our Kitchen Compost Bin Reviews
The Epica Compost Bin is a stylish bin that you can set anywhere you’ll have easy access to. It is made from durable stainless steel material, so if you’re looking for a strong compost bin that can last a long time, this will be an excellent bin for you.
This compost bin has a built-in filter that lasts up to 6 months, which is great if you want to save money on buying replacements. Its filter mechanism works great for controlling odors that might otherwise come out of the bin.
The bin and the filter are also quite easy to clean. This compost bin is one of the largest bins we’ve found, and comes at a very affordable price.
The Exaco Kitchen Compost Waste Collector is durable and affordable. It is made out of high density polyethylene which makes it extremely strong. You won’t have to worry about it getting damaged in any way for a long time. You can wash it in the dishwasher for a quick cleaning process.
This compost bin is highly affordable for all of the great features it has. There is a built-in carbon fiber filter so you won’t have to worry about any odors coming from your bin. It has a handle to make it easy to carry the bin to your outdoor bin when it’s full.
It holds 2.4 gallons of waste so you won’t have to take it outside numerous times a day. This is also one of the biggest compost bins that we’ve found for such an affordable price.
The Oggi Compost Pail is another very good choice for your composting needs. It has a stylish design, so you won’t have to worry about guests even realizing what it is that’s sitting on your counter. It is made from bamboo fiber, which helps in the natural look that you may be going for.
There is a charcoal filter in the lid to help eliminate odors as well. It has a strong handle to make it easier for you to take your waste out to your outdoor bin. This bin is best to hand wash due to it being made from bamboo fibers.
It has a 3.8 liter capacity, so it’s a good choice if you don’t have a lot of waste you’re saving. There are replacement filters available for this bin, so when the old one is no longer working, you can easily get a new one at a very reasonable price.
The Exaco Indoor Compost Bucket has a stylish design as well. The outer bucket is made of painted sheet metal and the inner bucket is made from polypropylene, which makes this compost bucket very durable.
The lid has a rubber seal so that it can completely eliminate smells and bugs. The buckets are dishwasher safe so you won’t have to worry about hand washing them.