I have a confession: I've never had a composter. I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, given the work that I do. But, now that we're settling into our new home, I'm ready to get on the bandwagon and start a home composting program so that we can reduce our food waste and support our new garden. To get the ball rolling, I asked our friends on Instagram to chime in on which composters they like best. I got some great answers and also did some research of my own. Here are the three I'm suggesting for house- and apartment-dwellers alike.
1. Juwel AeroQuick Composter
The Austrian-made AeroQuick line of composters are known and loved for being extremely durable, long-lasting, and rodent-proof—all qualities that feature prominently on my list of musts. There are several models to match your space and capacity needs. What these bins may lack in style, they make up for in ease-of-use with no turning required and multiple access points. I'm leaning towards getting this one in the 187 gallon size given the amount of leaf and plant litter we have, but they also come in smaller, 110- and 77-gallon options.
2. Hungry Bin Continuous Flow Worm Composter
Hungry Bin is another great continuous flow—meaning no-turning required—composter with a space-savvy design. Unlike composters that rely on heat breaking down the organic matter (i.e., the Juwel, above), this one uses vermicomposting, or worms, to break down food and plant waste and leave behind a nutrient-rich matter known as castings. It's A-plus plant food. You'll need to purchase your own worms for this one and can do so from online sources such as Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.
3. Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50
We are a gadget-loving family and this countertop composter from Vitamix has us completely wowed. Its compact size means it sits easily next to the sink or can be stowed in a cabinet when not in use. The best part is that it turns kitchen scraps into usable compost in 4 to 8 hours (depending on quantity and contents). Reviews say it delivers what it promises: odorless, quiet composting in a fraction of the time a conventional composter takes. If we still lived in an apartment, I would buy this in a heartbeat.