When it comes to composting, having some space to accommodate an outdoor bin feels like a luxury. So to make sure you get the best outdoor composter to fit your needs, we've put together a little roundup of choices—some we're familiar with, and some we think would be great to try. Take a look, and then let us know what your suggestions are. Generally speaking, there are two types of commercially available composters: tumblers and bins. We've tried both. Tumblers are nice because their design allows for easy turning and aeration, meaning your trimmings, clippings, and food waste will decompose more quickly. Bins allow for good air circulation, but are a little more difficult to turn and because of that might require a little more space. That said, both types will do the trick. And if you're short on change or don't want anything fancy, you can always make your own with just a few materials!
1 The Valentina Composter by Priscilla Woodworth: This one made the top of the list for two reasons: obviously, it's adorable. And it's compact enough for a balcony or small yard, making it a good option (albeit the price tag looms around $300). The concept looks very simple, too; put your scraps in, and compost winds up at the bottom, available through the little door.
2 Urban Compost Tumbler - UCT7: Read how one writer uses it to compost food clippings and biodegradable diapers.
3 Suncast Tumbling Compost Bin: We have this model in our yard and think it's pretty easy to use. Stuff decomposes really quickly, but we haven't yet tested the end product (according to the how-to booklet, compost can be ready in as few as two weeks). In any case, it has a small footprint and we're very happy with it thus far.
4 Lifetime 80 Gallon Compost Tumbler: A snazzy-looking compost tumbler; it's lightweight with a locking pin.
5 Exaco Trading ECO-88 90-Gallon Wooden Composter: Here's another compost bin that's easy on the eyes and on the planet. Made out of cedar, which is naturally bug and rot resistant, this is a pretty bin that has plenty of space for aeration.
For more information about composting, check out this all-inclusive post!
(Images: Valentina, Lifetime 80 Gallon Compost Tumbler: A snazzy-looking compost tumbler; it's lightweight with a locking pin.">Priscilla Woodworth; Urban Composter, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan; Lifetime Composter, Home Depot; Suncast Composter, Lowe's; Exaco.)