I've used composters inside and outside my house for many years, starting with a wooden one that I built myself and kept under the sink with red wriggler worms (vermicomposting). It was an experiment that surprised me with how quickly and efficiently the worms broke down all my food cuttings into "black gold" without any smell or much work. Now Sara Kate and I compost on a pretty big scale in three places: the city, the country and in the country garden, and it not only cuts down on our garbage output, but it also feeds our gardens and planters with nutritious compost that makes everything grow sky high...
So I thought I'd put together a list of all those good items that I've run across that serve the general composter both inside and outside the home, starting with the book that got me started, and which I still recommend. Enjoy! (Got your own composting tip? email me at Maxwell@apartmenttherapy.com with COMPOSTING in the subject.)
>> Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof - This is a an old book that everyone still recommends. It's short, it's folksy, it cuts to the chase and it's inspiring.
>> Biostack Composter ($130) - This is a good medium size all around outdoor composter (we have two). Made of 60% recycled polyethelene and some insulation for warmth, the stack comes apart in sections, allowing you to easily turn your compost with a shovel.
>> Urban Compost Tumbler ($189) - This is the big one we use out at our family's house in the country. We can put the whole families food cuttings into this baby for six months and then pull out a ton of black gold. Made of 100% recycled food grade plastic, this "pickle barrel" design allows for the compost to be easily turned and aerated by one person regularly, which greatly speeds up the process. Here it is in use in our backyard: Look!: Composting Diapers, Food and Leaves
>> MIO Composter for Target ($99) - Designed by the guys from MIO, this is the most attractive compost bin I've seen, has a small size and is made explicitly for vermicomposting (with worms). It can be used inside or outside. Unfortunately, however, it's been getting very mixed reviews over at the Target website due to breakage and cracking, so we would only buy this IF you were a design nut AND you checked it out at the store.
>> Naturemill's Composter ($299) - This is a high tech indoor composter that's received rave reviews from our own test lab. Designed to take all kitchen scraps including dairy and meat, the Naturemill mechanically turns, heats and aerates the cuttings so that they breaks down quickly with no odor, bugs or need for worms. Here's our Part II review: Re(al)view: Naturemill's Composter Part Two
>> Happy Farmer Bokashi Composter ($60) - This small wonder was designed with smaller, urban spaces in mind and, again, has received rave reviews from our test lab. This "hot pile" method "uses a composting activator called Bokashi (from Okinawa) for indoor composting, and after it is full, will take between 10 to 14 days to fully ferment, which is the average amount of time the average American family takes to fill a five gallon kitchen crock." Here is Abby's review: Review I and Review II Finale
Other Good Composting Links
>> Best Kitchen Composting Containers from Sara Kate
>> How To: Compost Dog Poop from Gregory
>> Julia Roberts Composting on Oprah from Laure
Lot's 'O Bins