Compost Bins

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Why I like using a compost bin instead of just a pile:

1. Compost bins are nicer looking. Neighbors and family members won’t complain about an ugly homemade compost pile or bin made of chicken wire or ugly wooden pallets.



2. Compost bins keep the pile hotter. Since the compost is all piled together inside the bin and kept close, it heats up and breaks down better. With a plain old pile, the compost tends to spread out and only heat up in the middle of the pile.



3. Compost bins are easier to deal with. It’s kind of like having a trash can instead of a trash heap. You have a specific spot where the compost goes, so you’re more likely to use it.

Looking for information on composting? Visit our other pages and see everything else we have to say about the subject.

What about compost tumblers?


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

willow October 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I am concerned about moles and mice in a compost pile. How can I deter them?

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steve October 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

@Willow,
Try using a tumbler, which is suspended above the ground by the stand. If you prefer a large bin that sits on the ground there are a few with bottoms to them, like this one: http://www.cleanairgardening.com/compostingbin.html

Also do you best to keep food scraps deep within the pile so the odor does not attract the rodents.

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Sara November 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Do you have any suggestions on how to create your own compost bin? I live in Morocco and compost bins are not sold here. I would rather build a bin than have a compost pile in my yard. What specifications do I need to have to make the bin- holes for air, access to the bottom of the pile, plastic vs. wood??? Thanks for your suggestions!

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steve November 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

@Sara, Yes, making a compost bin is relatively easy. You can use pallets, bricks, or even a trash can with holes drilled throughout it, top, and sides.
Here are a few links that might helps:
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6957
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20346968,00.html

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Daniel November 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Can I use a trash/garbage bin? Like those green, vertical, with 2 wheels and a handle.

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steve November 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

@Daniel, Yes, you can use a trash can for composting, however you will need to drill holes in it for drainage and air flow.

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ronalyn pamero February 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I’m trying to create a compost bin just for our kitchen wastes.
And I believe I have to put soil also every time I put organic wastes there.
But what if there is no soil available?
Thank you and I’m hoping to get some suggestions from you.
God bless!

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steve February 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

@ronalyn pamero, No you do not need to add soil to the compost bin each time; however you should try to get a source of carbon, such as leaves, dried grass trimming, shredded newspaper or cardboard, etc.

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Laura April 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

hello, i am a student trying to write a paper on how i think everyone should have a compost bin in their households. but to do so i need some more information on the pros and cons of it. i have searched and searched the internet. i have noticed that you seem to write back so if you could for me that would be amazing!

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steve April 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

@Laura, Some pros and cons for composting. Pros: composting helps reduce land fills, and the finished compost is a great source of nutrients to add to your lawn, plant beds or gardens. The cons would be having to collect the material and adding it to the compost bin each day or week. If you are lazy or busy this could be a big problem since composting does take a certain amount of work.

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Laura May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

@Steve Thanks, this helps. I also have a couple more questions to ask. what type of compost bins would you reccommend. do you think that appartments should have small ones required in the household and then have a larger one outside? and do you think a school should be required to have one for the kitchen (lunch) area? if you could reply that would be awesome!
thanks,
Student in need of advice, Laura

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