How to Choose a Composting Container

There are many sizes, shapes, and styles of composting bins to choose from. You can make one yourself or opt for not using one at all and create a compost pile or heap.

A compost tumbler is a cylindrical shape much like a drum laid on its side. It can be turned on a base that is supported on the flat ends. By turning the drum you are rotating and aerating the materials at the same time. It is an easy and effective way to rotate your compost.

A bio-orb container is shaped like a round ball and comes in various sizes. The benefits of this type of container are the ease of getting it around (you can roll it over to your yard waste and roll it back to its base), and the act of rolling it also aerates and rotates the contents. There are many small round holes in the container to let air in too.

A wooden box with slats or a wooden framed box with mesh sides can be purchased or easily made at home. If you can find four wooden pallets, you can nail them together to create a compost bin very inexpensively or you can find a roll of wire mesh at your local hardware store. Both of these options allow air to circulate as long as the contents are not too compacted.

If you do not want to use a bin, start with a pile of glass clippings or leaves and start to layer your food scraps on top. As time goes by and your pile continues to grow make sure you rotate and “stir” it frequently. Be warned though, it is not as easy to turn a pile that is not contained. They tend to grow in circumference over time as the pile spreads out after rotating.