Composting is an environmentally friendly way of turning your waste food scraps into valuable nutrients for your garden. While most people are quite happy just to throw their scraps in the trash, they probably don’t realize how much of this is actually piling up at landfills across the country.
It’s scary to think that across the United States, as much as 80 billion pounds of food are simply thrown away each and every year. Having a kitchen composter will not only help to reduce this, but it will also benefit your garden by providing it with some of the best natural compost you can get.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Kitchen Composter
You should think of a kitchen composter as an investment instead of just another pointless purchase. And for that reason, it’s worth doing a little research before you make your decision. The following are some of the things to take into consideration when purchasing your next kitchen composter.
The two main types of kitchen composters are those that rely on fermentation to break down the food, and those that use worms to do it. Worms are very good at breaking down food quickly without it smelling, and many avid gardeners will argue that the quality of the compost produced via this method is far superior.
The problem is that not everyone is happy to have worms in their kitchen (even in controlled containers). Most kitchen composters have a limit to what they can do and there aren’t many out there that have the ability to break down meat, fish, or dairy. Those that do cost considerably more.
At the end of the day, a composter is there to take your kitchen waste and turn it into something that will help improve the fertility of your garden. It’s not something you’re going to use to serve up food nor will you be spending your day drooling over it.
That being said, it is going to be in the kitchen, and the last thing you want is a big, unsightly eyesore staring back at you while you prepare your dinner. A lot of people opt for a kitchen composter that matches the rest of their appliances. Considering there are tons of different kitchen composters available in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and finishes it shouldn’t be hard to find one that works well.
The number of people who buy an indoor composter without measuring, only to get it home and find that they’ve got no room for it to fit, would surprise you. The first thing you should decide on is whether you want a countertop or freestanding kitchen compost bin. If you have a medium to large size family you may find that a countertop compost bin fills up too quickly. So for that reason, a freestanding compost bin may be more suitable. If you’re fighting for space in your kitchen or there’s only one or two people’s waste to dispose of, you might find a countertop compost bin works better for you.
There are various options available when it comes to the type of material the composters made out of. Stainless steel is a popular choice as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb bad odors. A plastic composter is another option to consider. These are also easy to clean and are usually much cheaper. The problem with plastic compactors is they stain quite easily and are not as good at containing bad smells. If neither of those styles is what you’re after, then maybe a ceramic composter is more for you. These usually look similar to an outdoor trash can and frequently have holes in the top to allow aeration in the compost bin.
This is a very important factor to take into consideration when buying a kitchen composter. You definitely don’t want to be smelling last night’s (or last week’s) leftovers every time you walk into the kitchen. Thankfully, most manufacturers of kitchen composters have realized that is a pretty vital feature and have included some form of odor control within their bin. It’s quite common to see replaceable filters or liners within these bins to help keep unwanted smells away. There are also added accessories called compost keepers that will help freshen your compost bin. These little filters slot into the lid of your container, soaking up moisture and bad odors. They’re pretty versatile and will fit most kitchen composters.
This is a benefit that’s really only applicable to plastic countertop models. But if that’s the style you’re opting for, then being dishwasher safe is a feature that’s worth considering. It just makes cleaning of the bin that little bit easier.
Having an airtight lid may seem like a pretty obvious feature when it comes to kitchen composters. Just how many models out there don’t have one would surprise you. It’s another way of containing bad smells within the bin and also a way of preventing accidental spillage.
If you’re wanting to go high-tech with your composter, there are electronic models available for purchase. Electric indoor composters work much more quickly than a traditional kitchen composter as they use heat to transform your waste into plant food. They’re also a lot more robust, meaning that these machines can even compost fish and meat. Some will have a tap at the bottom that enables you to drain the bin’s liquid, dilute it, and use it directly on your crops. Others will literally transform your waste into compost that’s ready to use immediately. However, please note that if left to decompose for another couple of days the compost will be of a much higher quality.
It’s not really a feature to consider for those of you looking to buy a countertop kitchen composter. If you’re opting for a larger, freestanding composter, having a pedal operated lid can be a huge help. Not only does this reduce the chance of you dropping your food waste at that crucial moment, but it also helps to prevent the spreading of germs around the kitchen. You may pay a little more for a pedal operated model, but hardly enough to notice the difference. And, we can assure you, you’ll be mighty thankful in the long run.
As with most products out there, the price of kitchen composters varies considerably depending on a number of factors. Plastic or ceramic models are usually the cheapest to buy but won’t usually last as long as a stainless steel one. Electric composters will, of course, carry a heftier price tag than all of these. You may also find that composters with additional features such as being pedal operated will also cost extra.
As mentioned previously there are a lot of different models out there when it comes to kitchen composters. And, unless you’re familiar with all the products already, choosing a decent one to suit your needs can be frustrating. To give you an idea as to what’s out there, and to help you make your decision, the following are some short reviews on 5 of the most popular indoor composters around at the moment.
Kitchen Compost Caddy Cabinet Mounted Compost Bin
This indoor compost pail available from Kitchen Compost Caddy is the bee’s knees! It may be one of the more expensive models on the market, but when you take a closer look at what you’re getting for your money, it’s a bargain.
With a mounting that’s made using 16 gauge steel and powdered coated to give even more protection, this rugged kitchen composter is ideal for anyone who’s a little limited on space. Tucked away inside your kitchen cabinet, the 2-gallon plastic compost bucket sets to work decomposing your kitchen waste, odor free and out of sight. It’s easy to clean and uses a carbon filter to minimize any odors.
LINKYO Compost Bin - Stainless Steel Kitchen Composter
For a good-looking, reliable kitchen composter that won’t cost a fortune, the LINKYO Compost Bin is the way to go. Constructed of high-grade stainless steel, this 1-gallon composter is made to last.
It’s rust resistant, stain resistant, and thanks to its thick, activated charcoal filter, it’s great at keeping bad odors at bay. Even though it’s pretty compact, you can still get a few days’ worth of food waste in there and being just the one, solid piece makes it less likely to leak when taking it to your compost pile.
Sure-Close Kitchen Composter
This indoor composter is kind of basic in terms of looks, but it will fit pretty much anywhere. If you didn’t want to keep it on display, it’s still small enough to fit under the sink or in the kitchen cabinet where it’s easily accessible.
It may not be completely hands-free, but with just a simple press of the button the lid pops open, ready to use. And being made of plastic, it’s super easy to clean. Simply wipe over with a damp cloth or throw it in the dishwasher for even more convenience.
EarthCycle Compost Bin Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop Compost Bin
If you’re looking for a well-made, modern, stainless steel compost bin that won’t let you down when you need it most, be sure to check out this fine model available from EarthCycle. You don’t need to worry about any escaping smells with this composter, as its double thick carbon filter is strong enough to keep in even the toughest of smells.
Its stainless steel exterior is easy to clean and durable enough to last for years. There’s even a robust silicone handle fitted to the lid to make slippages less likely.
Goldsol Compost Pail Bin Bucket for Indoor Kitchen Countertop
In terms of looks, it’s great. The copper coated stainless steel really makes this kitchen compactor stand out from the crowd. And, at a 1-gallon capacity, it’s not the biggest model out there, but it’s sufficient enough to take a few days’ worth of food waste.
There are dual charcoal filters to keep any odors in, and its no-seam design makes cleaning nice and easy. However, this product falls short in quality. The metal seems quite lightweight and flimsy and because it’s copper, it leaves a mark on the countertop. There’s no inside liner either.
We hope you found the above information useful and now have more of an idea of which kitchen composter will be best for you. After carrying out many hours of extensive research, we feel that the Kitchen Compost Caddy Cabinet is no doubt one of the best options currently available. With a 2-gallon capacity, it’s bigger than any other compactor on this list.
The fact that the mounting is made using 16 gauge steel is another great selling feature because you know it’s going to last a while. It uses carbon filters to keep out any smells and you can easily stash it away out of sight. What more could you want?