The Best Compost Bins in Canada
Whether you are growing flowers in pots on your balcony, or have a full-scale garden with fruits and vegetables, your plants need nutrients. Compost, made of yard and kitchen waste, is the most suitable soil improver and organic fertilizer. You will notice increased fertility, soil that holds moisture longer, and less work required in an attempt to make your vegetables grow faster and bigger.
Typically, homemade compost means a process of mixing up and decomposing organic materials. All you need is to combine nitrogen-rich food scraps, carbon-based dried leaves, sawdust or paper, water and air. The main ingredient here is time. Over a few months, bacteria will break the scraps down turning them into compost. (The faster method is to use an electric compost bin.)
Making your own compost is an easy project that you can complete both outside in your backyard and in your kitchen. Today we will be discussing the best compost bins on the market: countertop type for everyday domestic use, and large bins for gardeners.
What to Look For in a Compost Bin
This factor does not only affect the size of a bin but also your lifestyle. Consider how much waste your household produces during the day/week, whether you have vegetable beds or just a few pots to take care of, and finally how much space you have in the kitchen or garden.
A standard countertop compost bin fits a gallon of scraps, while backyard bins can hold more allowing you to collect organic waste over time. Here also consider whether you will want to empty a compost bin daily or prefer letting waste decompose overtime in an outdoor setup using something like FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter.
If you have limited countertop space or live in an apartment, your plants will benefit from compost turned into powder by Lomi.
This factor matters almost as much as the capacity factor, especially if you are planning to keep the compost bin on the counter. While electric compost bins such as Lomi look minimal and stylish in any kitchen, a budget-friendly option made of stainless steel could also make a suitable addition to your cooking space.
The same applies to garden compost bins. You might have enough space in the back of the yard to store a large bin. However, those with smaller backyards often choose a worm farm or a smaller compost bin such as FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter.
Expensive or budget-friendly, compost bins should be made of durable yet low-maintenance material. If you choose a small countertop compost bin, be ready to clean it a couple of times a week or as soon as it fills up. Hence, the bin should be made of material that does not retain odour. Choose stainless steel or heavy-duty plastic, that is also lightweight and easy to carry around.
Especially for those who keep a compost bin on a countertop, a proper tight lid will keep fruit flies away and prevent odour from escaping. However, you do not want the lid to be airtight: food scraps decompose with the intervention of oxygen. If the lid does not let any air through, the process of decomposing might take longer and release methane. That is why most countertop bins have holes in their lids that promote airflow and filters that reduce odour.
To get started with composting in the backyard (once you purchase a bin), set it up in a partial shade. “Too much exposure to the sun will dry the contents of the bin out, and that’s bad because the microorganisms that will break down the waste depend on that moisture to survive,” as per Serious Eats.
Make sure the bin has enough space for excess moisture to drain away. Otherwise instead of compost you will get a water-clogged bin with contents producing unpleasant odours.
Mix food waste and brown materials (leaves, grass, sawdust, newspaper) in a ratio of 1:2. Simply put, cover every gallon of food scraps with two one-gallon buckets of brown materials. The same system applies to smaller indoor bins.
Composting food scraps indoors could be done in two ways (besides the freezing method). The first one is an electric compost bin that turns waste into a powder-like substance. The second one is a worm bin. It comes with interlocking trays filled with worms, bedding and food waste. Worms move upward to new layers of food scraps (that you collect and add over time) and later worm tea drips to the bottom turning waste into compost.
What to and not to compost:
While composting sounds like an easy process of dumping food scraps into a bin, remember that not every scrap is compostable. Stay away from putting weeds, coated paper or waxed cardboard (cereal and milk boxes), into a compost bin. (Also do not compost any plastic, metal or glass.)
Instead, the list of what could be turned into soil fertilizer is rather vast: bones, meat and eggshells, coffee grounds and fruits and vegetable scraps, along with leftover dairy products, grains and baked goods can be mixed with any non-glossy paper, and yard waste.
Why Trust Us
Besides thorough research, we based our selection of the best compost bins on three factors.
The first one is customers’ reviews. Every compost bin on the list was approved by hundreds of users, both gardeners and apartment residents with limited countertop spaces.
Third, we only chose bins that earned at least four stars in ratings, both on Amazon and official online stores.
The Best Kitchen Countertop Electric Composter
Lomi Unlimited Composter
Lomi’s countertop compost bin has been taking over more and more kitchens. It is an electric composter that turns food scraps into compost at the push of a button. However, before we continue bragging about how convenient and clean Lomi’s work is, one important fact to remember is that powder you receive is not ready to be sprinkled over the soil. For food waste to become compost it has to process for at least two weeks.
Other than waiting time for powder to turn into compost, Lomi is the leading device on the market that allows you to skip smelly and messy steps of standard decomposing.
The device heats and grinds food waste, then measures and controls the moisture content. At the same time airflow system is responsible for the supply of oxygen and odour neutralization.
As one satisfied user noted, Lomi brings him joy every time he opens it after running it. “It’s easy and miraculous!” He suggests that every restaurant and school should invest in Lomi.
- Three-year warranty.
- Stylish minimal design.
- Offers three convenient plans with unlimited supply of filter refills.
- Mess-free composting.
The Best Budget-Friendly Compost Bin
OXO Good Grips Compost Bin
Undeniably, Lomi is an efficient and mess-free composting tool. Yet, it comes at a high price. You might want to give the whole process of composting a try before buying another appliance for the kitchen. That is where budget-friendly compost bins such as OXO Good Grips are the ideal choice for beginners.
The bin comes in two sizes, and as some reviewers noted they keep the smaller one in the fridge and use it to collect food scrapes. The larger bin can be kept under the kitchen sink and offers enough capacity for a household that cooks often.
OXO Good Grip compost bin is lightweight, easy to clean, and it prevents even week-old smells from escaping. As one reviewer noted, she usually gets away with emptying the bin once or twice a month depending on what she cooks. “Once in a blue moon, the lid may come loose from the latch on the back. Keep a hand on that if you tend to upend and shake to empty the bin,” she added.
- Easy to clean.
- Flipping lid.
- Rotating handle.
- Might be too small for a family use.
The Best Stainless Steel Countertop Compost Bin
Oggi Countertop Compost Bin with Charcoal Filter
Another budget-friendly bin is Oggi Countertop Compost Pail. Although it comes with charcoal filters, use compost bags inside to reduce cleaning time and prevent odour. (Oggi recommends replacing charcoal filters every two to three months. “It turns out you pinch the old ones to pull them out and then half-fold, half-wedge the fresh ones into place,” as per…..MA
The Oggi bin comes with charcoal filters and eco liners that absorb odour allowing the bin to smell fresh even with weeks old food waste in it.
The 3.8-litres bin looks minimal and stylish enough for you to keep it on a countertop. Yet, as one reviewer noted, her only complaint is it could be a bit larger. She would not advise Oggi to a large family. However, she added that no odour escapes through and the inside cleans easier than plastic models.
- Charcoal filters are included.
- Quality stainless steel.
- Easy to store.
- As per some reviewers, filters must be changed frequently, otherwise odour escapes through the lid.
The Best Stylish Compost Bin
Bamboozle Compost Bin
A slightly smaller than previously mentioned bins, Bamboozle compost bin is 1.15-gallon. The bin looks stylish enough to stay on your countertop, and its bamboo-fibre construction is dishwasher safe.
Besides minimal, modern design, Bamboozle compost bin features top-tier odour blocking. A satisfied user of Bamboozle noted that besides admiring the aesthetic, he is a fan of how well the bin works at containing smells.
Just like other countertop compost bins, Bamboozle comes with two charcoal filters that must be replaced every two to three months.
- Biodegradable bamboo fibre.
- Stylish minimal design.
- Carbon filters are included.
- As per some reviewers, they wished for the bin’s body to be stronger.
The Best Small Electric Composter
Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler FC-50
Just like Vitamix blenders, the FoodCycler FC-50 is a powerful device that turns food scraps into fertilizer. It is efficient, and as per most reviewers, since purchasing it they have been using FoodCycler nonstop.
Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 is a two-litre machine which is large enough for a four to five people household and compact enough to keep on the countertop. It easily breaks down meat scraps, vegetable peels, and other organic food waste, turning it into a substance you can start adding to the soil right away.
The FoodCycler dries and grinds food scraps, and depending on how wet or thick the materials are, the machine might take four to eight hours.
You would have to change filters at least every three months, but as reviewers say, Vitamix FoodCycler is worth the effort. Food waste is cut down by up to 90%, which is useful not only for your garden but also as a step towards a more sustainable home.
- Powerful device.
- Easy to store and operate.
- Mess-free compost.
The Best Large Compost Bin For Gardens
A 400-litre capacity compost bin is an ideal choice for enthusiastic and professional gardeners alike. It is large enough to contain kitchen scraps, grass and dried leaves, and other yard waste, while the lifted design allows for proper airflow. The spinning function eliminates the need of turning the pile manually.
Aerobin 400 features double insulated walls that provide suitable temperature during both cold and hot months, and seal odor without attracting flies. An aeration tube that runs through the composter speeds up the process of decomposition.
A reviewer who has a large yard noted that she is constantly weeding and making compost piles. She bought this composting bin, and within days the pile of weeds, leaves, and vegetable leavings began to “cook.” Within a short amount of time, she had compost to spread over her flower beds for the winter. The bin was very easy to put together, she added. It is sturdy and holds the heat during the composting process.
- Insulated side walls.
- Simple assembly.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- As per some reviewers, the lid blows off in high winds.
The Best Outdoor Compost Bin
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 composter features two separate chambers: while one side finishes decomposing, the other one can be filled with fresh food scraps and yard waste. Swapping sides after finishing creates the flow of healthy compost in a total amount of 37 gallons.
This is another composter that features a tumbling design making mixing compost piles easier. All you have to do is spin the composter every three days. You can expect ready-to-use compost after two weeks in sunny conditions, and a little longer during cooler months.
As one reviewer noted, he suggests checking the humidity once per week. “Do not rush to add a lot of water. Two-three cups today and then check again in one week.” He also added that he lives in the Toronto area and there are a lot of raccoons, mice and squirrels. However, he had no issue with them. There is no bad odour coming, he noted.
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 features aeration holes allowing mixing in oxygen and speeding up the process of decomposing.
- Made in Canada from recycled plastic.
- Tumbling composter.
- Ideal for beginners.
- Durable construction.
- Might not be strong enough to withstand a bear (as per several reviewers who live in the countryside.)
The Best Worm Bin for a Backyard
Worm Factory 360 Composting Worm Bin
The last idea for creating compost is Worm Factory 360. (Can be populated with Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm red composting worms.)
Worms swirl through food scraps and yard waste mix turning it into ready-to-use compost for garden and house plants. The tiered system makes it easy to collect compost or add new scraps to the top tray.
As one reviewer observed, this is the perfect setup if you are tight on space and want something visually appealing. Instructions cover everything you need to know and there are a ton of Youtube videos on this specific unit.
Based on other reviews, Worm Factory 360 does not smell or attract fruit flies, and unlike many concerns, worms do not escape. You can also help worms to turn scraps into compost faster by chopping up or blending food waste before throwing them in the composter.
If you live in a hotter climate, keep in mind that worms are temperature sensitive, and it is best to keep the farm in a cool basement.
- Expandable up to seven trays.
- Ten-year warranty.
- Odour free.
- Easy to set up.
- Must be kept in a cool space.
Questions about compost bins
How to build a compost bin?
If you would like a little DIY project and want to build a compost bin there are a few simple ways to do that.
The first one is turning a trash can into a compost bin. Use a plastic can with a tight-fitting lid. Drill a few three-inch holes and cover each hole (on the inside of the can) using a patch of window screening. Place the bin on a few blocks of bricks or flat rocks to provide proper air circulation.
The second method is using wood pallets to build a compost bin. Decide on the location, then assemble the frame and install the strap hinges. You can also build a hinged lid to keep out animals and insects.
What is the meaning of compost?
Compost is a processed mixture of food scraps, yard waste and cardboard (or newspaper), turned into a substance that can be used as plant fertilizer to improve soil’s chemical and biological functions.
How to prevent maggots in compost bins?
To get rid of maggots in a compost bin add a layer of a brown type of material such as dried leaves, straw or egg cartons. Those components will dry the compost and reduce the amount of food that attracted flies in the first place.
Why is composting good for the environment?
A large volume of water in compost helps to reduce erosion and establish vegetation. Compost also improves water quality, and retains pollutants (nitrogen, phosphorus, fuels, heavy metal, pesticides and more).
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