How to Choose an Indoor Compost Bucket

Compost bucket
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

Simplehuman compost bucket

My Choice

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?

Postsiggie4 copy

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About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.

Comments

  1. This is a very timely post. Thank you. The bucket I just ended up purchasing looks very much like yours. Now I’m concerned about rust-didn’t think of that. I’m also worried that it will be too small. Does the Simple Human have a filter?

  2. Lori – yes the simplehuman bucket has came with 2 filters and you can buy more on Amazon. I hope yours works out for you!

  3. Lori – yes the simplehuman bucket has came with 2 filters and you can buy more on Amazon. I hope yours works out for you!

  4. Lori – yes the simplehuman bucket has came with 2 filters and you can buy more on Amazon. I hope yours works out for you!

  5. Lori – yes the simplehuman bucket has came with 2 filters and you can buy more on Amazon. I hope yours works out for you!

  6. I do compost, and I can honestly say that I do not have a store-bought compost bucket. I use 1-gallon milk jugs that I cut the top off of, and I keep them under the sink. I’ve never noticed a need for a filter, and I often have compost sitting under there for several days before I get around to emptying it. It gets gross – I usually soak it in water and soap for a few hours right after I empty it, but I don’t really scrub it, just rinse it. When it gets too gross to be cleaned that way, I get rid of it, and start again. This works for me now because my kids drink a lot of milk so I always have gallon milk jugs to repurpose. When they stop doing that, I’ll have to come up with something else.

  7. We keep our compost bucket on the countertop, so I chose a nice looking stainless steel one too. So far, so good!

  8. I had a ceramic one for years that worked very well. It has a carbon filter and I never noticed an odor problem. I am in the market for a new one though. I left this one outside, in the cold and now it has a huge crack! I’ll have to look into the SimpleHuman one. Although I might need something larger.

  9. Good luck finding the right compost bucket Kristina! I thought the ceramic ones looked nice but I was a little worried about durability. 

  10. Kiersten – how often do you have to dump yours? You must have a lot of food scraps with all the cooking you do!

  11. Glad to hear that the gallon jugs work for you Stacey. Way to repurpose!!

  12. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says:

    We have a compost outside but I really like the idea of having one like this inside! Really good post.

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