Are Compost bins worth it

In my opinion, gardening and composting go hand in hand. Producing your own Humus to fertilize your soil is just a very efficient way to use garden- and kitchen-leftovers. In this Post, I want to take a closer look at different types of compost bins, if they are worth their money, what their benefits are and what’s important to know before you get one.

Are Compost bins worth the money? In a suburban setting, when you only have very little space or need to produce fast humus a compost bin is a great choice and a good investment. If this is not the case using a normal compost pile will suffice.

With that out of the way let’s dive right into the different types of compost bins you can buy.


Types of Compost Bins

Let’s start off by looking at some of the most common Compost bin types. Compost Bins come in a lot of different shapes, sizes and price-classes, here I just want to give a rundown of the differences between these Types.

Tumbler Bins: Starting off with the most expensive option, Tumbler Bins are closeable Compost Bins, which are able to rotate. They usually hold between 15 Gallons and 45 Gallons of waste and are able to produce compost within 6-8 weeks, once the bin is completely filled.

Classic Compost Bins: These Bins are the most common type to be used. They hold on average between 80-150 gallons of waste and need 3-6 months to turn it into usable humus.

Compost Buckets: Compost Buckets are used indoors to store your waste and start the process of composting even before you add it to your outdoor Compost. Holding on average between 1-4 gallons.

Worm Composting Bin: These Composting bins use Worm to take care of your wast, simply put it all on trays, add some worms into the mix and let them do their thing, after about 3 months you will have a reasonable amount of vermicompost to add to your garden. Unlike normal compost bins, these can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Wire Compost Bin: This is just a very simple Compost bin, mostly to hold your waste into place, making it easier to gain height. Other than that these Bins don’t offer much improvement over any self-build composter.


Benefits of Compost Bins

Now let’s take some time to look at the benefits of Compost bins compared to regular compost piles.

Faster: The biggest advantage of Compost bins is their speed. Producing fast humus with a regular compost pile will take some work, regular turning and maintaining a good balance are necessary to speed up the process. Compost Bins make it much easier to produce fast compost, they offer good airflow to the compost and are able to produce more heat due to their casing.

Easy to care for: Compost bins are very easy to work with, you just throw your waste into them and wait, similar to a passive compost pile. However, doing it with a passive pile will take about a year to deliver finished compost and an active pile requires more work.

Very clean look: I really like the look of my messy compost pile in the back of my garden, that being said most compost bins have quite a nice design and are far more practical in an Urban setting, especially if your neighbor is not the greatest fan of composting.

Closed: There are certain things you cannot put onto a compost heap, because it might attract animals like rats. This can be avoided by having a closed Compost Bin design, making it impossible for these animals to enter.

Easier to manage water household: Sometimes compost can get too wet, resulting in a green slimy goo (caused by too much green material), this is unlikely to happen in a Composter Bin, making for a very good way to start composting without having to worry about small details.

Can be placed everywhere: most Compost Bins are quite flexible and can be used on all Types of surfaces – and even indoors if needed.


Compost Bin: Things to know

Let’s also look at a couple of things you should know before getting a Compost Bin, since mostly about some false claims you hear from time to time.

Smell: Compost should not smell bad, no matter how you choose to decompose it, a well-balanced compost smells earthy but that’s it. If your compost smells bad this is caused by too much green material (think kitchen waste) or too high moisture levels. Here is my latest post talking about the basics of composting, if you look for a more detailed explanation about this topic.

There is no one best way: All different methods of composting have their pros and cons, there is no one single best way to do things here. Consider both sides, when choosing your method of composting or maybe combine multiple methods together.

Not everything should go into your compost: This is especially important for Suburban places, as rats tend to be more common. Meat and Bones should not be added to your compost, it’ll attract wild animals, which will try their best to get into your compost bin.


Are they worth the money

So, all in all, are they worth their money? Well, as mentioned before: it depends. I live in a very rural area, composting is normal here, so none has a problem with composting in a simple pile. Secondly, I do not require my compost to be produced fast, I still have compost from last year and the year before to use in my garden. For those reasons I decided to go with the cheapest option possible, using just some old wooden planks to help keep my compost in place, otherwise, I tend to just let it decompose passively.