It was time. The trusty, green, plastic compost bucket that lived under my sink for many years had to go. For months, I dealt with the cracked top rim but when the handle snapped off completely (showering my legs with compost - thankfully outside!), I knew that its days were numbered. Even though my plastic bucket held up for many years, I wasn't so sure I wanted another one of the same model. So I took to the internet to do some research on what type of compost container to buy:
Factors to Consider
Assuming that you have a place to compost food scraps outside, you will need some type of container to store them temporarily in the house. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Will the container be kept under the sink or on the counter? If it's sitting out on the counter you will probably want something that looks nice. If not, butt ugly might be just fine.
- What material is the container made of? Popular choices are stainless steel, plastic and ceramic.
- How much does the container hold? If you create a lot of food scraps, you will want to lean towards something larger. If not, a smaller size will suit you just fine. Most containers hold between 1 gallon and 2.5 gallons.
- What type of filter does it use? Most compost buckets use a charcoal filter but the key question is - are they readily available? If not, you might want to consider a different model.
Read the Reviews
I was all set to buy an inexpensive, stainless steel compost bucket, when I read that rusting was a problem and replacement filters were hard to find. Goes to show you, there's more to a purchase than reading the product description! Here's the type of thing I found in the customer feedback section:
- Problems with rusting on stainless models
- Lids didn't fit well or filter fell out easily
- Fruit fly and/or odor problem
- Hard to find replacement filters
- Not big enough for customer needs
In the end, I chose the SimpleHuman Stainless Compost Pail. Stainless steel seemed like the best option for many reasons - more durable, more eco-friendly and better looking. And even though I store my container under the sink, I use it a ton so I wanted something that looked nice sitting on my counter while I am using it. This model was more expensive than many of the other choices, but it got great reviews and met most of the criteria that were important to me. Plus it has a 5 year warranty!! The one downside is that it is smaller than my old plastic bin (it holds 1.2 gallons vs. 2.4 for the old one). So far that hasn't bothered me very much although come CSA season, it might.
Do you keep a compost bucket in your kitchen? What do you like best about it?
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