The Compost Bin
Garden compost bins are inexpensive, attractive, and a practical way to reduce kitchen and yard waste by 30 percent, reduce garden watering by 30 percent, and amend garden soil, all in about 10 minutes per week. Composting begins at the kitchen sink with odor-free compost buckets and crocks for gathering household scraps. A variety of outdoor composters range from 90- to 120-gallon capacities and from a simple cylinder-style compost bin to attractive enclosed and adjustable bins.
Compost bins can be any size or shape. The size is determined by the amount of waste produced and by the amount of compost that can be used. Best-selling plastic compost bins feature bottom sections that open for easy access to compost. Natural cedar compost bins are an alternative to plastic compost bins. Wood compost bins are sophisticated, durable, and more difficult for critters to invade. Mesh wire compost bins are traditional and as basic as you can get, lacking many attractive extras. Construction is simple, and wire compost bins are fine for yard waste only. These wire compost bins are very critter-friendly.
The Compost Tumbler
Compost must be turned weekly to allow oxygen to work through the pile, so you might consider a compost tumbler, which makes it easy for you to do the turning. Turning should occur with each new addition to the pile; when food items are added, they should be buried in the pile to keep rodents from feasting. Lifting and manual labor can be avoided with a compost tumbler that allows effortless, continuous use by rotating compost and moving it for storage in a collection chamber.
Urban compost tumblers mix compost more thoroughly than hand aerators. They are vertical or horizontal, on stands or wheels; they have screened vents for optimum airflow, can hold as much as 18 bushels of compost, and keep out even the most determined critters. Some compost tumblers have gear-driven drums for easy turning even when full. Compost tumblers feature rods or fins that mix and break up clumps to speed up decomposition. Compost starters or activators are often recommended with compost tumblers.