Last updated: August 26, 2021

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For centuries, organic waste has rotted away and automatically turned into compost. This process is called composting. It is a recycling system that has been used unconsciously for hundreds of years. Nowadays, the collected compost is also used to produce energy and heat, among other things.

It is therefore important that organic waste is collected and that it does not simply disappear in the waste. In the following, we have presented some compost bins so that you can find a suitable one for your kitchen. In the bucket of your choice, you can collect the compost, often odourless, and then conveniently take it to the organic waste bin or compost heap.




The most important facts

  • Organic waste is processed into energy, heat and fertiliser. That's why it's important to collect your organic waste. This way you can contribute to sustainability without much effort.
  • There are many different types of compost bins. When buying a compost bin, you should also consider whether or not you want an activated carbon filter. This helps to reduce the odour. Various other features can also make the collection process easier.
  • Not all waste can be composted. For example, ashes or animal excrement should not find their way into the organic waste bin. The exact rules depend on your municipality.

The Best Compost Bin: Our Picks

Buying criteria for a compost bin

To make it easier to choose the perfect compost bin, here is a summary of the most important buying criteria. This way you can discover the ideal bin for you.

Here are brief explanations of the respective criteria so that you understand exactly what to look for when making a purchase.

Bucket size

A compost bin comes in a wide variety of sizes. You will find all sizes between 2.5 litres and 12 litres. When making your decision, you should consider how often and in what quantities you will use the bucket.

If you are a passionate cook and use fresh vegetables a lot, you will need a slightly larger bucket than if you never use a utility knife. It also depends on how often you like to change the bucket. If you prefer a fresh bucket every day, a smaller size will do.

Activated carbon filter

Another decision you should consider when buying a compost bin is whether you want a bin with or without an activated carbon filter. Activated charcoal filters ensure that the unpleasant smell of organic waste does not spread through your kitchen. The filters are usually located under the lid of the bucket.

The odours are deposited on the porous surface of the activated carbon and thus do not get into the air. Sounds super practical at first, but it also has its disadvantages. Because the filters should be replaced regularly. This requires repeated reordering and you have to bear recurring costs.

Design

Compost bins come in a wide variety of colours and shapes. When buying, you should consider which design suits your kitchen. If design doesn't matter to you, that's no problem either, of course, you can simply choose the most functional one.

If design is important to you, you should always keep functionality in mind. Unfortunately, the most beautiful compost bins are not always the best. Nevertheless, there are now stylish bins that serve their purpose very well.

Cleaning

When making your purchase, also consider how you can wash the bin. Plastic, for example, is not suitable for the dishwasher because it can crack or discolour. If you regularly clean a stainless steel bucket in the dishwasher, it can rust.

However, many stainless steel containers are now processed in such a way that they remain rust-free. Always refer to the product description. Otherwise, all types of buckets can also be washed by hand. Simply clean with warm water and washing-up liquid. Adding a little vinegar to the water is particularly effective in combating unpleasant odours.

Functionality

Containers for organic waste are available in many different types. When buying one, consider a few additional useful features. For example, it is nice if you can remove the lid completely instead of just lifting it. This way, you avoid food residues sticking to the lid. A handle is also useful for transporting the bucket. It also makes emptying easier.

Consider using a pedal to open the bucket, especially if you want to put your bucket on the floor. Make sure the lid closes completely airtight, especially if your bucket does not have a filter built in. This is because even a well-sealed container emits almost no odours. This also keeps fruit flies away from your organic waste.

Shopping Guide

Now we answer the most frequently asked questions about compost. This way you can avoid any uncertainties before you buy.

Where to put my collected organic waste?

After you have successfully collected your organic waste, there is of course no point in disposing of it later with your normal rubbish bin. Most municipalities have special bio bins for this purpose. These are usually brown and collect the organic waste. This is then processed in composting plants.

Some of it becomes compost. Compost is a nutrient-rich fertiliser substitute. Depending on the type of fertiliser, the compost is further processed and becomes potting soil. A second part of the organic waste is fermented. This produces methane gas, which can then be processed into electricity and heat.

Besenstiel

Fruit and vegetable waste should definitely be put on the compost heap. (Image source: Joshua Hoehne/ Unsplash)

If you have a garden, you can also collect organic waste in a composter in the garden. After a while, your compost will turn into fresh compost. Most composters have a removal flap at the bottom so that the soil can be easily removed, while you can dispose of new organic waste at the top. The resulting compost is wonderfully nutritious and serves as fertiliser for your plants.

What waste belongs in the compost bin?

What exactly belongs in your organic waste bin and what doesn't depends on your local authority. It is important to know which recycling options the respective composting facilities have. The waste management office of your municipality can give you precise information about their waste separation system.

Enclosed we have compiled a list that separates some waste into organic waste or no organic waste. However, this is not an exhaustive list. This belongs in the organic waste bin:

  • Garden waste
  • Potted flowers and potting soil
  • Bread and bakery scraps
  • Egg shells
  • Fish scraps and bones
  • Coffee filter bags and coffee grounds
  • Hair
  • Tea bags

This does not belong in the organic waste bin:

  • Ash
  • treated wood residues
  • Animal excrement
  • Small animal litter
  • Soot
  • Medicines
  • Candle remains

What are the alternatives to a compost bin?

The two most common alternatives to a compost bin are the worm bin and the bokashi bin. However, they both require a little more effort. A worm bin is basically just a sealed box in which compost worms process your organic waste into compost. Within three weeks, the waste can turn into nutritious soil. If you take good care of the bin and follow a few rules of use, the bin shouldn't stink either.

In a Bokashi bucket, the organic waste is collected just like in a normal compost bucket.

When the compost is processed, a liquid is produced. This is collected by a sieve at the bottom and can be tapped off through a drainage tap. If this liquid is then mixed with water, the mixture serves as fertiliser. The process should be supported with microorganisms, which must be added.

Conclusion

Compost bins are particularly suitable for collecting organic waste from the kitchen first and then taking it away. There are many different designs, colours, etc. You're sure to find one that doesn't spoil the aesthetics in your kitchen. But don't just look at the design.

Certain features can make your everyday life significantly easier. Of course, the price also plays a role. In the end, you have to make a decision for yourself. You are welcome to use our article as a guide when making your decision.

Image source: 123rf / Tetiana Lemak

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