If you haven’t been thinking about getting a little more environmentally friendly lately, you should definitely start.
One of the biggest environmental concerns we face today is the food waste problem. America wastes roughly 40 percent of its food yearly, and in various forms.
Unsold food in retail stores, by-products from food processing facilities, and even uneaten prepared food are all common examples of food waste.
Composting is one of the best ways to combat food waste on a household level. Stop throwing your money in the trash, and contributing to the food waste problem, with our list of the best composters you can find!
What is composting?
Let’s break it down, pun intended. Composting is the microbial process that breaks down organic materials under certain conditions to create decayed organic matter. That decayed organic matter can be used to fertilize and strengthen soil to help plants grow.
Since organic matter is a broad term, you may be wondering exactly what materials are suitable for composting. The composting rule of thumb is to have an equal amount of browns to greens. Browns are materials such as dead leaves, twigs, and branches, and greens are vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and more kitchen leftovers.
An in depth list of the items you can compost include your vegetable and fruit scraps, as mentioned above, but also your coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, and uncoated paper products.
While some sources will tell you not to compost dairy or meat products, the truth is that those items can, and should be, composted. However, if you decide to include those in your compost bin, be wary of rodents and make sure your bin has odor blocking technology.
What are the benefits of composting?
We’ve gone over the benefits of composting with saving food waste above, but there are so many other benefits.
For one, if you’re a gardener or are thinking of growing things in the soil around your house, you’re in for a treat. The soil that your kitchen waste produces is so nutrient rich, it even suppresses plant diseases and pests.
It also helps the environment overall. By reducing the amount of food waste in landfills, you reduce the amount of methane emissions from landfills as well.
Combat waste, help the environment, and enrich the soil around you just by composting!
What types of composters can I buy?
There are several types of composters and compost accessories on the market. But which one is right for you?
Scrap buckets are possibly the most common indoor composting accessory. These buckets don’t actually compost your materials and scraps, but they hold them all together until you can transfer them to your actual waste piles.
It might seem like a waste of money to buy a dedicated scrap bucket, but you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.
Dedicated compost buckets actually help keep your scraps odor under control while saving you constant trips to your actual compost bin.
Indoor compost bins
If you want to keep your compost closed, an indoor composter may be the best solution for you.
These bins can take you compost to varying levels of completion. Some can help your scraps along and start the composting process, while others can start and complete the cycle all in the same bin.
There are a few types of indoor composters to choose from:
- vermicomposting and
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Aerobic composting involves the decomposition of organic materials using microorganisms that require oxygen. Once you purchase your bucket for compost, you can fill it with brown matter and a touch of damp soil.
When you have your scraps for the day, toss them underneath the first soil layer and place the aerated lid on top. This method requires you to turn the soil at least one a week to maximize oxygen distribution.
The method of Anaerobic composting can be, and often is, completely DIY. Many opt for a simple garbage bag to throw all their food scraps in as anaerobic composting does not require oxygen.
While this makes for an easy compost set-up, it should be noted that the methane gas produced by these leftover scraps brings a terrible smell with it. If left alone, your scraps should compost anaerobically in a year or so.
The vermicomposting method is possibly the best way to go for indoor composters. This method can take your scraps all the way to completion all while standing in your home. The main thing that puts most hopeful compost practitioners of this method is the worms.
That’s right, worms.
Vermicomposting uses worms, oxygen, and moisture to break down your food scraps with little to no odor. The worms in the bin do most of the work as they eat all the scraps and aerate the soil themselves.
The biggest innovation in the composting sector is the automatic composter. This method relies heavily on technology to create an automated composting experience. Machines that can turn your scraps into compost in as little as a couple hours, take up no space, and are easy to clean are revolutionizing food waste.
In fact, the only downside to this method of composting is the heavy price tag that many of these machines carry. However, if you can afford it, automatic composting is the best and fastest way to compost indoors.
Outdoor compost bins
Outdoor composters are slightly different from indoor composters. While they both achieve the same end goal through the same methods, outdoor composters are usually larger than indoor ones, and require a little more upkeep and effort.
Tumblers and piles are the most common methods used for outdoor composting. Tumblers help keep animals out of your compost, as well as make turning your compost quite easy. Piles can be DIY, but require more elbow grease than tumblers.
In the end, if you have a big family, or just want to keep your scraps away from your living space, outdoor composters are a great alternative.
Now that you know a little more about composters, lets look at the best composters on the market.
The Best Composters You Can Buy
1) The best indoor composter: The Essential Living Composter
The essential living composter takes the cake as the best indoor composter for many reasons. Because it’s a vermicomposter, harnesses the power of worms to break down organic matter, all your scraps and matter can be fully broken down within this one bin.
While there are others on this list that can take your organic matter the full cycle to broken down, nutrient rich compost, none compare for the price tag or the convenience of an indoor set up.
However, if you decide to go with the essential living composter, be prepared to handle lots and lots of worms.
This vermicomposter has everything your worms could need for happy composting. A moisture retention channel running around the outside of each tray collects water to prevent the bedding from drying out along the edges.
A collection of 52 migration tunnels also extends down from the base of each tray for happy traveling.
The icing on the cake is the reservoir base that collects all the liquid from your vermicomposter. This “worm tea” is a powerful fertilizer, and is sure to have your garden looking bright.
It’s important to note that this composter allows for an odor-free experience and worms are not included.
2) Best-looking indoor option: Eco Living Composter Powered
Is it a vase, or is it a composter? The eco-living composter marries sleek aesthetics with the power of combating food waste like no other.
It’s very different from the rest of the options on this list, as it pairs the sleek and small design of most auto composters with the ingenuity of vermicomposters.
The Eco Living Composter acts like mother nature itself. Stack your composter with moist soil and fill if with plenty of earthworms.
At the end of each meal, or whenever you have food waste, simply deposit the food waste into the composter and let the worms to the work.
With the multiple entry points, you can access the nutrient rich soil these worms are sure to produce and transfer it among your indoor and outdoor plants.
To start your Eco composting journey right, you’ll need seven liters of moist bedding soil, and around 500 – 600g of composting worms.
Let nature do its work with the Eco composter, and live better with less food waste.
3) Best kitchen top compost bin: Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler
The first automatic composter on the list comes to us from famed household tech brand Vitamix.
The FoodCycler is the brand’s newest innovation for combating food waste. It offers an easy and efficient solution for anyone looking to limit their carbon footprint.
Vitamix’s FoodCycler come with a removable waste bucket for easy transfer of food scraps and cleaning. Once it’s done its job, simply place the bucket in the dishwasher to prepare it for use once more.
The bucket also comes with a carbon filter lid that eliminates odors. Feel free to store your scraps until the bucket is full. Fruit scraps, raw meats, and even bones can be deposited into the bucket to be broken down.
Unlike more traditional models, the FoodCycler has a processing time of four to eight hours. All you need to do is place your scraps in the bucket, and press start!
The FoodCycler will take the scraps through a drying, grinding, and cooling cycle that eliminates odors and produces nutrient rich fertilizer to mix into your soil.
4) Best countertop compost bin: Lomi
This automatic composter is only available for presale at the moment, and will begin shipping out in January 2022, but it’s so groundbreaking we just had to include it.
Before you get too upset about its unavailability, you can still put down your deposit and secure your machine for next year.
The Lomi speeds up the breakdown and fragmentation of organic matter, similar to the way earthworms break down organic material, but at an accelerated rate. By using heat, abrasion, and oxygen, Lomi helps your food scraps and organic material turn into good old fermented soil.
It might sound like the Lomi is just a regular automatic composter, but there’s one thing that sets it apart from every other composter on the market. On top of turning your food waste to soil, the Lomi can do something else. It can turn any biodegradable plastics into the same nutrient rich soil.
Its three separate setting tailor to your composting needs perfectly. Express mode breaks down your food waste and reduces bulk by 80% in just four hours. Bioplastic mode breaks down food waste and any certified bioplastics to create safe soil in just 10 hours. Eco mode creates nutrient rich soil in 20 hours.
If you can hold off on your composting journey until the Lomi officially releases, or just want to add it to your composting collection next year, you wont be sorry!
Price: $49 deposit fee, $350 for the device
5) Best option that utilizes worms: Worm Farm Compost Bin
This worm farm is perfect for families with a lot of food waste to let go of. It holds up to 20 gallons, and sits on a sturdy metal frame with wheels for easy transportation.
Because it is a continuous flow-through, this composter needs no turning or stirring that a conventional outdoor composter might need.
This bin can process up to four and a half pounds of waste per day. You’ll also have no lingering smell or insect attraction.
For the green thumbs out there, this bin produces nutrient-rich worm tea which collects at the very bottom of the bin.
If you’ve tried other composters with less space for your waste and find yourself always wanting more, this worm farm bin is definitely the best solution for you.
6) Best-looking vermicomposter: Urbalive Worm Farm Compost Bin
This is the cutest worm composter you’ve ever seen. Winner of the acclaimed RedDot Design Award, the Urbalive Worm Farm is the most stylish indoor vermicomposter.
Coming in three colors; lime green, white, and grey, this composter stands at two feet tall and contains two stackable trays.
If you need more than two trays to suit your composting needs, you can add extra as you wish. A large collection base allows easy access to the nutrient-rich worm casings and liquid for use in your garden or indoor plants.
The modern wood accents in the legs and handle, paired with the bright colors and matte finishes, makes this composter a perfect home addition. Get rid of your food waste without compromising your home aesthetic.
7) Best dual-chamber tumbling composter: Large Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
If you’re looking to keep your waste outside, you might be wanting a viable outdoor composter.
This large dual chamber tumbler is a great option for any family that goes through a lot of food waste. Especially one that’s willing to put in the work to degrade it.
One side of this dual-chamber cures, while the other holds all your food waste. It has a hexagon design for better mixing, an aeration system for taking in oxygen, and mixing bars for faster curing.
All of these features come together to produce rich, fertile compost in only four to six weeks.
8) Best outdoor composter: Jora Composter Tumbler JK270
Outdoor composters hold and decompose food waste, but they don’t all have to look like they do. This tumbler from Jora makes your food waste disappear in style, so you can feel proud all the way through!
With a metal body, hunter-green finish, and white inside, the Jora tumbler is sure to match any house exterior. It holds up to 70 gallons of waste and soil and is divided into two chambers. While one chamber gets filled, the other chamber matures and degrades the waste.
As it stands at four feet, rodents and other creatures will find a hard time getting in. As well, the sturdy latches and fixings help protect against small hands or strong winds.
This item has the ability to degrade up to eight gallons per week. It’s the perfect addition for any large family looking to dispose of their food waste sustainably.