7 Compost Bins That Offer High Design and Less Mess


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If you’ve ever been shocked by the amount of trash you produce (*slowly raises hand*), let us recommend the best compost bins to ease your conscience. Did you know a quarter or more of the waste that goes into landfills is actually compostable organic material? Instead of trashing all that, now’s the time to invest in one of these eco-friendly gadgets, which turn your vegetable scraps, eggshells, garden waste, and more into a super-fertile soil amendment for your houseplants or community garden. Not only will it decrease your carbon footprint, but it can bolster community compost efforts and hopefully lead to wider legislation around food waste solutions.

Composting might have once evoked visions of stinky, rotting banana peels, buzzing gnats, or worms. But you don’t need a yard to compost, and it’s actually tons of fun, says Rebecca Louie, The Compostess blogger and author of Compost City: Practical Composting Know-How for Small-Space Living. Louie likens it to mixing a cocktail. “The good news is there are lots of options,” she says. “If you’re not necessarily into worms or don’t have an outdoor space, there’s something you can do.”

Breaking it down (wink), composting is all about layering dry “browns,” like leaves, with wetter “greens,” like veggie scraps, to create the overall moisture ratio of a wrung-out sponge. Different systems operate at different volumes and speeds, and some require more active maintenance, like turning. The best compost bins make it easy for you to transform your food waste into something useful without taking up too much space in your home.

Thankfully, higher-design, less-mess choices are cropping up more than ever these days. Ahead, we’ve highlighted seven top picks that suit our high expectations of functional design, sustainability, and efficacy. Some are traditional bins, while others offer a “set it and forget it” method controlled by an app or requiring minimal tending. This is great news for city dwellers or anyone who, frankly, doesn’t care enough to get their hands dirty, but still wants to do their part to live a more eco-conscious life. Choose the kind of setup you’ll be psyched to show off, toss the pitchfork, and you’re on your way to becoming a green god.

Vitamix FoodCycler

Food Waste Recycler

Vitamix’s foray into composting is stylish and small space-friendly. The low-power countertop compost bin can grind food waste into viable compost in a matter of hours, although it’s optimal to wait about a month to let the resulting soil amendment mature. Toss in everything from cut flowers to coffee grounds to chicken bones—the machine takes pretty much any organic matter, making it great for beginners. The removable bucket is dishwasher-safe, too.

Image may contain: Vase, Potted Plant, Plant, Pottery, Jar, Planter, Herbs, Room, and Indoors

The vermicomposter does use worms, but instead of showing them off to the world like some worm composters, it gives them a stylish home in a mod sculpture to do the hard work of breaking down your kitchen scraps. Rest assured that the worms will keep modest amounts of composting happening quickly and odorlessly. Not convinced to put a worm compost bin in your kitchen? Vermicompost is so potent that one tablespoon can feed a medium-sized houseplant for more than two months.

White Lomi electronic compost machine

Here’s another high-tech kitchen compost bin from Lomi that takes all the dirty work out of composting. Toss in all of your food scraps (even things like cherry pits, grass clippings, and meat), and choose from one of three run cycles, which rely on a combination of heat, abrasion, and oxygen to break down your food. If you choose to use Grow Mode (which takes about 24 hours to complete), your finished compost pile can be used as plant fertilizer to create nutrient-rich soil. It also features removable carbon filters which help to keep odors out, and it runs quietly too.


Mix it up with a tumbling composter by filling up the drum with scraps, then turning it approximately three times every three days for aeration. Compost tumblers often come in basic black—but sometimes you get lucky and find one in Barbiecore pink. The Envirocycle Mini is an outdoor compost bin, but its smaller size makes it functional for even teeny tiny balconies. And if you’re really ready to get down and dirty, this option allows you to collect the excess liquid from the drum as compost tea, which is considered precious liquid fertilizer.

White Mill Kitchen Bin

Place this innovative product next to your kitchen counter and watch it fill up with scraps. The Mill isn’t exactly a compost bin, though, nor is it a modern-looking trash can. Instead, you put in your organic waste, it grinds and dehydrates them over the course of a few hours, and you’re left with Food Grounds, a soil-like end result that then gets shipped to a farm in Mill’s program to become food for chickens. In terms of ease of use, everything is controlled via app and a handy food glossary is included too, so you know exactly what can—and can’t—go in the Bin. The Mill, which has a $33 per month subscription fee, includes everything from the bin to unlimited boxes.

exaco composters aerobin 400 64 1000

Exaco 113 Gallon Composter

Take it outside with a self-heating outdoor bin that handles 100-plus gallons of compost material, including yard waste. These bins are designed to be all-season, insulated, and rodent-proof. Plus, it’s another one that can produce nutrient-rich liquid compost tea. If you don’t want to go through all of that, move it out of the house by enrolling in composting pickup. Private services in at least 200 areas can haul scraps away for minimal fees that start at about $8 per week. Directory of local services by zip code, compostnow.org

Another high-tech food waste solution, Reencle’s composting system uses microbes to break down your kitchen waste, fermentation-style. You can add scraps in the stylish bin throughout the day and it “digests” as it receives (just like us). It’s fitted with a carbon filter, too, to keep stink out. Overall, it’s easy to use for people who are interested in the art of composting, and though it comes at a higher price point, reviewers rave over it.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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