The Best Compost Bin Australia - An Outdoor & Indoor Review

Our #1 PICK 

Joseph Joseph Stack 4 Food Waste Caddy with Odour Filter

~ The Best Value for Money ~

Joseph Joseph Stack 4 Food Waste Caddy with Odour Filter
  • Effective at keeping odours away
  • Convenient flip-top lid
  • Includes an odour filter
  • Can be used with or without biodegradable liners
  • Stylish design

Home composting is a wonderful experience if you have the right setup. After all, it’s good for the environment and you end up with free compost! However, without the right equipment, the process can quickly turn messy and difficult.

That’s why today we’ll look at the best compost bins available in Australia.


Types of Compost Bins

When shopping for a compost bin, there are a couple of factors you will need to consider. Not every composter is made the same, and it’s important to get one that is suitable for your situation. A giant compost bin won’t work for an apartment just like a tiny worm farm won’t take care of the needs of a large garden.

But before we talk about choosing the best composter for you, personally, let’s go over the main types of compost bins. This way, you’ll know exactly what the options are.

Outdoor Compost Bins

Outdoor compost bins are the classic way of composting. You’ve probably seen one at least once in your life. In fact, outdoor compost bins can be very rudimentary in structure, pretty much anything that will hold garden waste together in some way can be considered a bin. Composting bins, in general, need to be well-aerated (which means they need to have holes). In addition to this, they usually have no bottom to allow the worms and microorganisms from the soil free passage into your compost material.

Outdoor compost bins are great for gardens. They are easy to fill and maintain, although turning the compost can be quite a bit of work. However, if you don’t have the space for an outdoor compost bin - don’t be discouraged, there are plenty of other options you can work with.

Compost Tumblers

Compost tumblers are also typically used outdoors, but they look completely different from standard compost bins. Compost tumblers look somewhat like a large wheel placed on a stand. Inside, there are one or more compartments for storing your organic waste. Instead of turning the compost, all you need to do is rotate your tumbler, which is very easy.

The downside of compost tumblers is that they usually have a much lower capacity than a standard compost bin. However, they are much less work intensive. An additional benefit of compost tumblers is the fact that the composting material is lifted off the ground, thus keeping critters away.

Indoor Compost Bins

There are also many indoor compost bins available these days. When choosing an indoor compost bin, it’s important to be aware of what exactly you are looking for. Some indoor compost bins are not made to produce compost - rather, they are bins designed to help you collect your organic waste. You’ll eventually need to put it in a larger compost pile, though.

This is what many people need indoors and if you are one of them, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many great indoor bins of this kind available. However, if you are looking to compost your food scraps indoors from start to finish, perhaps you should consider vermicomposting.

Worm Composting Bins

Worm composting, also often called vermicomposting, might sound gross to some but it’s a great way to deal with organic waste. The so-called worm farms can be set up both indoors and outdoors.

"You can get worm farms that are designed to be in kitchens, they're designed to look okay and to be fairly well contained so your little guests don't come out and visit the rest of your house" - Jenni Downes, institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney for ABC News


How To Choose A Compost Bin

The benefits of compost are many and very well documented (2). After all, does a process that turns trash into fertile ground need any further explanation? No matter what your answer to this question is, it’s difficult to deny the benefits of compost. Even people who are not gardeners are starting to wake up to the benefits of the practice. Most organic waste we produce (and we do produce a lot of it) ends up in landfills (3), which is terrible for the environment. Why not prevent this by composting at home.

Here is what to consider in order to find the perfect composting bin for you:

All kinds of organic waste can be composted, including kitchen scraps, food leftovers, but also garden clippings and even branches. If you want to compost smaller amounts of kitchen scraps, indoor worm farms are a great idea. On the other hand, you could also collect the waste in a bin designed for that and transfer it later to a larger bin outdoors, be it your own garden composter, a community compost pile or an official organic waste management system.

If you garden a lot, then you know that a small bin will not be enough to handle all the grass clippings and other material that comes out of the garden on a regular basis. In that case, look for a tumbler or an outdoor composting bin that will fit your needs.


Best Compost Bins Australia: Our Top Picks

Ready to explore the world of compost? These are the best compost bins available in Australia. Every compost-enthusiast should be able to find a usable setup among those below.

Joseph Joseph Stack 4 Food Waste Caddy with Odour Filter
  • Effective at keeping odours away
  • Convenient flip-top lid
  • Includes an odour filter
  • Can be used with or without biodegradable liners
  • Stylish design

If you are looking for a countertop compost bin to collect all of your kitchen scraps, this ‘caddy’ from Joseph Joseph is a great option. This stylish compost bin is small enough to unobtrusively fit into any kitchen but large enough for the household needs of most people.

The capacity of the Joseph Joseph bin is 4 litres. The bin has an oblong rectangular shape which will easily fit somewhere on your countertop. In combination with the stylish colours available (grey, off-white, or blue) it will not clash with your kitchen decor either.

The shape of the bin also makes it perfect for collecting food scraps. The bin has a flip-lid that you can open completely, and then easily scrape the food in straight off plates, for example. The opening on top is 23 cm long and just under 20 cm wide.

However, the best thing about this compost-waste holder from Joseph Joseph is the air-circulation system. The bin is designed so it lets the air through which helps dry the food scraps and reduce the possibility of bad odour. In addition to this, the lid of this composter also features an activated carbon filter that eliminates any odour if it does appear. The filters are easy to replace. Replacement filters (as well as compostable bin liners if you choose to use them) are available for purchase separately.

What we liked: 

  • Effective at keeping odours away
  • Convenient flip-top lid
  • Includes an odour filter
  • Can be used with or without biodegradable liners
  • Stylish design

What we didn't like: 

  • Could be too small for some households

#2: Best Outdoor Compost Bin: PlantCraft 290L Aerated Compost Bin

  • 90% recycled plastic
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect size for most households and small gardens
  • 12-month warranty in Australia

If you have a garden or a backyard and are looking for something that will allow you to make your own compost, this outdoor compost bin from PlantCraft is a good solution.

Large compost bins for household use can be hard to find, but this one mostly checks all the boxes. The PlantCraft compost bin is a fairly simple construction, but it has all the features a good compost bin need.

The bin is quite easy to assemble. The walls are made of plastic, and if you care about the environment at all you’ll be happy to learn that 90% of the material used is recycled. We always love to hear that when it comes to plastic products. Moreover, some advantages come with the bin being made of plastic. First, it's very lightweight which makes it easy to move as needed. Moreover, the material is durable and will fare well in all kinds of weather conditions.

The convenient lid on top is easy to open and closes tightly. The lid will help keep odours and critters from entering or exiting the bin. It also keeps the water out when it’s raining but keeps moisture in too. If you are trying to maintain a perfect moisture balance in your compost pile, this feature comes in handy.

The bin does have small holes around the corners that let air inside, which is what makes this a compost bin and not just any old bin. You can also access your compost from the sides which makes turning it easier. A convenient door on the bottom allows you to take the compost out without disturbing the whole pile.

What we liked: 

  • 90% recycled plastic
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect size for most households and small gardens
  • 12-month warranty in Australia

What we didn't like: 

  • Not the most durable construction

#3: Best Compost Tumbler Australia: SQUEEZE master Tumbling Compost Bin

SQUEEZE master Tumbling Compost Bin
  • Two separated chambers
  • Very easy to use
  • Made with UV-resistant plastic
  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Good for keeping animals away

Compost tumblers are a great solution for small gardens and backyards. The idea behind tumblers is to make aeration of the compost as easy as possible. Instead of turning a pile of compost, you simply need to spin your tumbler a couple of times.

The SQUEEZE master Tumbling Compost Bin has two separate chambers that rotate individually. Each compartment has a capacity of 70 litres. The two separate compartments mean that you can keep filling one part while the compost in the other one is getting ready. If you fill the bin at the right pace, you can theoretically keep rotating between the two compartments forever.

While it might not be able to handle as much waste as a traditional compost pile, this tumbler is a great solution for small spaces. The whole setup measures 76 x 76 cm at the base which is quite manageable.

Another advantage of this compost bin is that everything is lifted off the ground. This helps keep all kinds of critters away from your compost pile.

What we liked: 

  • Two separated chambers
  • Very easy to use
  • Made with UV-resistant plastic
  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Good for keeping animals away

What we didn't like: 

  • Limited capacity
  • Long composting process
  • Getting the compost out can be awkward

#4: Best Worm Composter: Eco R Us Worm Farm

Eco R Us Worm Farm
  • 100% recycled plastic
  • Made in Australia
  • Includes coir fibre bedding
  • Easy setup and use

Not everyone is willing to try vermicomposting, especially not in their home. The truth is, it is a possibility, and if done right it can be quite an interesting experiment.

The Worm Farm from Eco R Us is a great setup both for those trying out worm compost for first time and experienced vermicomposters. The setup consists of 3 trays with grid-like bottoms that allow worms to migrate from one tray to the next as you keep filling them. At the bottom, there is a separate compartment with a convenient spout that allows you to catch leachate - the liquid byproduct of vermicomposting that can be used as a fertilizer.

The worm farm is quite simple, but it works quite well. Another plus is the fact that it’s made completely from recycled plastic, and it’s made in Australia. One thing to keep in mind is that this worm farm is small (it measures 41 x 41 cm at the base), so don’t expect it to handle a huge amount of organic waste.

What we liked: 

  • 100% recycled plastic
  • Made in Australia
  • Includes coir fibre bedding
  • Easy setup and use

What we didn't like: 

  • Fairly small

#5: Best Stainless Steel Compost Bin: RSVP International XL Compost Pail

RSVP International XL Compost Pail
  • 7-litre capacity
  • Rustic design with modern features
  • Durable construction
  • Charcoal filters included
  • Dishwasher-safe

This stainless steel compost collector is a great addition to any kitchen. This composter looks just like, well, a metal bucket. However, we find that it has a rustic charm that can easily fit into any kitchen.

We especially like that his bin is made of stainless steel. That means it is resistant to rust and corrosion even in contact with moisture. This is very important for a compost bin as food scraps are usually full of moisture. But with stainless steel, you can use the bin worry-free even without liners.

Another great feature of this bin is the lid. The lid is also made of stainless steel, and it is perforated at the top. However, on the inside, there is an activated charcoal filter that will keep any smells inside the bin and annoying pests like fruit flies outside.

Overall, this is a great, exceptionally durable kitchen composter. The only downside we’ve found is that the lid needs to be completely lifted off to add something to the bin. While this is not a huge hassle, there are better systems out there.

What we liked: 

  • 7-litre capacity
  • Rustic design with modern features
  • Durable construction
  • Charcoal filters included
  • Dishwasher-safe

What we didn't like: 

  • The lid can be a bit awkward to use

Chef'n 85400 EcoCrock Compost Bin
  • Very cute design
  • Fits everywhere
  • Great gift
  • Includes charcoal filter to keep odours away

Who said that composting needs to be ugly? This cute little countertop bin lets you show off your love for compost with style.

This bin features a ceramic exterior that looks beautiful and wholesome. The ceramic bin is quite heavy though, but the EcoCrock has an internal plastic bin that can be easily removed, making cleanup a breeze. This is important considering that the bin is quite small, so you’ll probably need to empty it every couple of days.

The black lid with a sprout on top fits tightly and has an activated charcoal filter on the inside. The filter lets air in but keeps the smells away, thus making it possible to keep this beauty on your kitchen working surface.

What we liked: 

  • Very cute design
  • Fits everywhere
  • Great gift
  • Includes charcoal filter to keep odours away

What we didn't like: 

  • Very small

Compost Bin Reviews Australia: The Final Verdict

The search for the perfect compost bin will depend on your overall setup and your way of making compost. If you are looking for a kitchen composter, we loved the sleek design and functionality of the Joseph Joseph Cady.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an outdoor imposter for your garden, PlantCraft 290L Aerated Compost Bin might do the trick.

FAQ

1. What type of compost bin is best?

Pretty much every type of compost bin is perfect for some uses, but not for others. Indoor compost collectors are great for kitchens, but not for the complete processing of organic waste. Regular old outdoor compost bins are great for gardens where there is space, but compost tumblers can also work great. If done right, vermicomposting can also be a great system both for indoor and outdoor use.

2. How do I start a compost bin?

If you are starting an outdoor compost bin, you’ll want to start the pile directly on the ground. That means there will be no bottom on your bin and that’s ok. For best results, it’s best to place a layer of twigs and branches at the bottom first to ensure good drainage. After that, you’ll want to alternate between ‘green’ and ‘brown’ material in layers. Most food scraps fall in the green category. The dry brown part should consist of materials like sawdust, dry leaves, and wood ashes.

3. Do compost bins smell?

Not necessarily. A well-maintained compost bin should never smell, but with kitchen composters sometimes the smell is easy to avoid. In these cases, it helps to have a composter with an activated charcoal filter. These simple filters are great at keeping smells inside the bin.

References

  1. Weule, Genelle. February 23, 2019. “No backyard, no problem. You can still recycle your food waste”. ABC News. Retrieved November 9, 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-02-24/food-scrap-and-composting-solutions-for-apartments/10817702
  2. “Benefits of Compost. US Composting Council. Retrieved November 9, 2021. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/CompostBenefits
  3. “Recovering Organic Waste”. Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Retrieved November 9, 2021. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/CompostBenefits

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