Composting is often seen as an activity reserved for those with sprawling backyards and lots of space for an outdoor compost pile. But did you know you can reap the many benefits of composting even in the smallest apartment? Indoor compost bins provide an easy, odor-free way to “go green” and reduce your food waste footprint, no matter where you live.
Why Composting is So Important
First, let’s look at why composting has become such a hot sustainability trend. When food scraps and other compostable waste ends up in landfills, it generates methane gas, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to climate change. Landfills are actually the third largest source of methane emissions in the US!
Composting your food waste helps capture nutrients and return them to the soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Making “black gold” out of scraps keeps them out of landfills and decreases methane. Plus, compost enriches any garden soil with organic matter and beneficial microbes. It’s a win-win for the environment and your plants!
For apartment dwellers with no yards, indoor composting bins provide a simple way to recycle food waste right from your own kitchen. No need to lug scraps outdoors or let them pile upCreating rich, nourishing compost is possible even with limited space. With the right bin, you can neatly tuck away composting in a small corner.
Overview of Top Indoor Compost Bins
In this post, we’ll cover the 5 best indoor compost bins ranging from high-capacity bins perfect for bigger families, to compact mini bins ideal for small spaces. You’ll find options at various price points, in different styles from ultra-modern stainless steel to basic plastic.
With the increasing popularity of indoor composting, there are now many products to suit every need. I’ll summarize the pros and cons of each bin and provide tips for choosing the one that fits your lifestyle. Soon you’ll be on your way to creating “black gold” out of kitchen scraps!
Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin – For Compact Kitchen Composting
First up, we have a great stainless steel bin from Epica that combines stylish looks with effective odor containment.
With a 1.3 gallon capacity, this bin is suited for 1-2 person households. The sleek stainless steel design helps the bin blend seamlessly into your existing kitchen decor.
Here are the pros and cons of the Epica bin:
- Stainless steel construction contains odors effectively
- Stylish design looks great on countertops
- Easy to clean stainless surface just needs soap and water
- Charcoal filter further helps control smells
- 1.3 gallon capacity good for small households
- Higher price tag than basic plastic bins
- Smaller capacity not ideal for bigger families
- Charcoal filters need replacing
Overall, the Epica stainless steel compost bin is a great choice if you want an odor-free bin that matches your kitchen decor and have smaller composting needs. For one or two people, this gets the job done! The sleek metal bin will look right at home on your countertop while keeping smells at bay.
Exaco Trading Kitchen Compost Bin – A Sturdy and Affordable Option
If stainless steel seems too flashy, the Exaco Trading compost bin offers a sturdy plastic build at a budget-friendly price point.
With a 2.4 gallon capacity, this bin provides ample room for small to medium households. Exaco Trading is known for producing long-lasting compost bins, and this product follows suit with its durable plastic construction.
Here are the pros and cons of the Exaco Trading bin:
Pros: -budget-friendly price point -2.4 gallon capacity accommodates more scraps -designed to filter air and reduce odors -sturdy plastic build made to last
Cons: -plastic may crack over time -not as visually appealing as metal bins -large capacity makes taking out compost trickier
The Exaco Trading Kitchen Compost Bin is a great choice for value-focused consumers who want an affordable medium-capacity bin. While not as sleek looking as metal, the durable plastic construction withstands daily kitchen use. This bin’s roomy size also allows bigger households to compost effectively. Overall, Exaco Trading offers an excellent budget-friendly option.
Envirocycle Mini Compost Bin – For Those With Limited Space
For a compact bin suited to the smallest kitchens and tightest spaces, the Envirocycle Mini is a top contender.
With a petite 1.5 gallon capacity, the Envirocycle Mini takes up very little room. The uniquely vertical shape and compact footprint help this bin squeeze into tight corners.
Here are the pros and cons of the Envirocycle Mini:
Pros: -Small size perfect for cramped spaces -Easy to manually turn compost via sliding drawer -Seals tightly to contain any odors -Cute design available in many colors
-Need to empty frequently due to small capacity
-Opening at bottom makes removing compost challenging -Higher price for the small size
The Envirocycle Mini is ideal for anyone with an extremely limited kitchen or apartment layout. Thanks to the innovative vertical design, you can compost in spaces where other bins just don’t fit. Just be prepared for the smaller capacity filling up quickly with scraps!
Vitamix FoodCycler – The Electric Option For Fast Compost
For fast and fuss-free composting, the Vitamix FoodCycler uses electricity to speed up the process.
With a 1 liter capacity, this compact bin rapidly converts scraps to compost right on your countertop. The electric fan and heating element hurry along decomposition so finished compost is ready in mere hours!
Here are the pros and cons of the Vitamix FoodCycler:
-Produces ready-to-use compost incredibly fast -Easy to use – just push a button -Small footprint saves space -No smell or mess
Cons: -High price tag -Very small capacity fills up quickly -Noise from electric fan
-Requires emptying every few days
The Vitamix FoodCycler’s speed and simplicity come at a premium price. For most, this won’t be an everyday workhorse bin due to the tiny capacity. But if you seek speedy, mess-free composting, it’s hard to beat this electric bin!
OXO Good Grips Compost Bin – An Affordable Basic Bin
Finally, we have the OXO Good Grips bin, which offers a no-frills composting option with useful features at a reasonable price point.
With a 1.75 gallon capacity, this plastic bin provides a good amount of room for most smaller households. The lid flips open for easy food scrap depositing, and charcoal filters reduce odors.
Here are the pros and cons of the OXO Good Grips bin:
-Budget-friendly price -Charcoal filter controls smells -Decent 1.75 gallon capacity -Flip lid allows easy opening
Cons: -Plastic body prone to cracking -Lid can be tricky to remove when full -No fancy features
For those seeking a simple and affordable indoor compost bin that gets the job done, the OXO Good Grips bin is a great choice. While no-frills, it includes useful features like an odor-reducing filter and flip lid. This bin provides good value.
Choosing the Right Indoor Compost Bin For Your Needs
Now that we’ve covered the top indoor compost bins on the market, how do you pick the perfect one for your household? Here are some key factors to consider:
Household Size – Choose a bin with ample capacity for your needs. Larger families will want bigger 2+ gallon bins. 1-2 person households can get by with 1-1.5 gallons. Measure your typical food scrap volume.
Available Space – If your kitchen is tiny, pick a slim bin like the Envirocycle Mini. Make sure to measure the footprint. Stick to smaller capacity bins for cramped spaces.
Special Features – Do you need active odor control or fast composting? Certain bins offer features tailored to specific needs. Evaluate which features matter most to you.
Maintenance Effort – Some bins like the Vitamix FoodCycler require very little work. Others need more stirring, emptying and cleaning. Gauge how hands-on you want to be.
Manual vs Electric – Electric composters provide speed and simplicity but may cost more. Manual bins require more effort but get the job done cheaply. Decide if electric convenience is worth it.
Appearance – Stainless steel bins help composting blend into modern kitchens. If looks matter, choose accordingly. Plastic bins work fine in garages or pantries.
Ease of Use – Ensure your bin has an accessible opening and that the lid or mechanism won’t be a nuisance when adding scraps or removing compost.
Ideal Capacity – Consider how often you want to empty. Don’t size up too much where you’re leaving capacity unused. But don’t size down too small where it overflows between emptying.
Durability – Look for solid construction that will last years. Plastic may crack eventually. Stainless steel tends to endure better. Check warranties.
With some trial and error, you’ll find the right bin. Be patient as it takes time to develop a system. Invest in a quality bin suited for your unique needs. Soon, you’ll be a happy indoor composter!
Frequently Asked Indoor Composting Questions
If you’re new to indoor composting, chances are you have some questions about getting started and maintaining your bin properly. Here we’ll tackle some of the most common FAQs:
What can I put in an indoor compost bin?
Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells, nut shells, houseplants, paper towels and napkins, cardboard, and cut flowers are all fair game. Always check your bin’s guidelines too.
What should I avoid putting in an indoor compost bin?
Avoid meat, fish, dairy products, oils and fats, diseased plants, weeds with seeds, pet waste, diapers, and synthetics like plastic. These create odors and hinder proper decomposition.
How do I maintain my indoor compost bin?
Empty regularly, keep contents moist but not soaked, stir and turn the compost, ensure proper airflow via aeration holes, clean periodically with mild soap and water, and replace filters as needed.
What are signs my compost is working properly?
Look for breakdown of scraps, reduction in volume, dark rich color, crumbly texture, and sweet earthy smell. If you have bad odors, bugs or sludge, something is off – troubleshoot!
Where should I keep my indoor compost bin?
Keep in a convenient spot like your kitchen or pantry near where food is prepared. This makes transferring scraps easy. Just ensure good ventilation.
How long does it take to fill up my bin?
This varies based on size and household. Small 1 liter bins fill in 1-2 weeks. Large 2+ gallon bins may take 1-2 months to fill. Empty your bin when it gets around 3/4 full.
What do I do when my compost is finished?
Remove the finished compost and add to potted plants or outdoor gardens. What remains can be returned to the bin to mix with new scraps and continue decomposing. Enjoy your “black gold!”
Unlock the Benefits of Home Composting
As you can see, indoor composting is accessible for anyone, no matter your living situation. With the right bin tailored to your household’s needs, you can keep food scraps out of landfills and turn your waste into nutrient-dense compost.
I encourage you to get started with home composting if you aren’t already. It truly makes a positive impact and is very rewarding. As covered here, today’s bins make the process odor-free, simple and compact.
Hopefully this guide gave you a helpful overview of the most popular indoor compost bins. Always feel free to reach out with any other composting questions! I’m happy to help more households discover the joys and benefits of turning food scraps into “black gold.” Get composting!