Question

What is the best and easiest to use composter????

Asked by karen fox
Thomasville, NC

she would not be able to put leaves in it mailing just house scraps, etc

Answer

Richard Heller

Answered by Richard Heller

New Rochelle, NY

Greener by Design

January 2, 2013

Almost all composters are easy to use. Composting has rules but even these are loose.

  • For composting home scraps, all compost guides suggest that you only use veggies, coffee grinds, fruits, etc.
  • No grains or meats, mainly because you don't want to attract rodents, or have skunks knocking over your composter.
  • You can also compost grass clippings and leaves, but avoid weeds and invasive plants.

Some rules of composting

The most important of these rules are that compost needs to be turned periodically and kept moist which can be a challenge in some areas.

More "rules" have to do with ratios of clippings vs leaves, etc and you can read through the ten loose rules of composting here. Since this will be a home composter based on food waste, many of these rules will not apply beyond what I have already mentioned. 

Go to this site for more on compost do's and don'ts.

Spinning composters

As for composters, if you don't want to break your back there are a number of spinning composters that mix the new waste with what is already composting (recommended heavily).

  • If you don't like to dig, these spinning composters are the easiest.
  • I like the ones that are mounted to a frame (example here) as opposed to a composter you roll on the ground as they take up less space to manage them.
  • If you like digging, then you may want a composter that has a release door on the bottom once you accumulate some good compost for spreading in your garden beds. 

I recommend the Keter dynamic composter. These composters have been well rated by other users and the Wayfair company offers them at a good value and with free shipping, but Google them just in case another company can beat the Wayfair price. It will take at least a year with food waste to get some good compost.

10:1 ratio

Compost to food waste ratio is approximately 10:1 meaning 10 lbs of waste will make 1 lb of compost. At least this has been my experience composting green waste and we have a large household.

 

For more information:

Read "I want to start a small kitchen compost bin for our plant waste. Any advice for an urban composter?" a Q&A answered by Kirsten Flynn.

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