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What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Compost Bins?

A kitchen compost bin.
Red wiggler worms can be used for vermicomposting, one type of composting that can be done in a kitchen-sized bin.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2014
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Indoor compost bins are an excellent option for people looking to produce their own organic compost with little space. The addition of some red worms can turn a plastic container into a simple and inexpensive kitchen compost bin. Fancier kitchen compost bins often make composting easier, but they are typically more expensive. Automatic and bokashi compost bins are two other types of compost bins that will work well in a kitchen.

One of the simplest kitchen compost bins can be made from an opaque plastic container with a fitted lid. Some modifications must be done to the container and lid, however, before it can be used as a compost bin. For instance, air holes should be drilled in the top few inches (7.6 centimeters) and lid of the container. Some experts also recommend drilling holes in the bottom of the container, but this would require the container to be set in a pan to collect any liquid that seeps out.

The method of composting known as vermicomposting requires worms. Red worms are typically considered to be the best choice for compost bins, and these can be purchased from a worm supplier. Before adding the worms, however, a few inches (7.6 centimeters) of moist bedding should be added to the container. Dried leaves or sawdust often make decent bedding.

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Food scraps can then be buried in the bedding periodically, and the worms eat these scraps and leave behind rich soil-like compost. These types of kitchen compost bins typically take several weeks to provide organic compost, but the worms add several rich nutrients to the compost material. Also, since excessive heat can kill the worms, the container should be kept out of direct ther types of commercial kitchen compost bins sunlight.

Other types of kitchen composting are also available. Automatic compost bins, for instance, are small bins that turn regular kitchen scraps into composted material with little help from the user. One of the disadvantages of these types of kitchen compost bins is that they can be quite expensive.

Automatic composters are very easy to use, however, and they can turn scraps into rich soil very quickly. Automatic kitchen compost bins periodically rotate and aerate the compost material, so a user doesn't have to. Many of these also have carbon filters, which help eliminate the odors produced by composting materials.

Bokashi is a Japanese term that literally means “fermented organic matter.” Pellets containing micro-organisms are layered with food scraps in these types of kitchen compost bins. The micro-organisms cause a fermentation process in the bin, which helps break down the compost materials. After several days, the material can then either be added to the soil or an already established outside compost pile or bin.

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