So you’ve considered the compost and decided you’re open to the idea of it. Now what?

When you hear the word “compost” what image does this stir up in your mind? If you’re anything like me, all I could envision was a smelly pile of rotting garbage swarming with flies. I have a dog, so the last thing in the world I wanted to do was create another source of mess that would make me less interested in going back there for anything other than clean-up. 

And what about my neighbours? Wouldn’t they be furious after heading out back for a fire and being met by a wall of stink (and probably bugs)?

Well, as it turns out, urban composting has come a long way since our grandparents’ day when a compost usually consisted of four wooden pallets screwed together to form a makeshift location for all of their grass clippings, leaves, and organic waste. It was usually spilling out the slats and had to be sort of stirred up occasionally with a shovel. There was nothing pretty about them, and yes, they stunk. 

Here’s the thing, most of our grandparents who composted had pretty large backyards. I wonder what they’d think of some of the designs of our modern homes with very little space for gardening and even less for composting.

But that’s just the nature of the world we live in. Most homes these days are not built with that kind of backyard activity in mind, so most of us, if we’re thinking of composting, need a few alternative options. Here are just a few:


These are ideal if you are dealing with little to no outdoor space. Thought composting was just for people with backyards? Well, think again. People in Scandinavia are famous for composting in their small apartments. They simply put their kitchen scraps into little plastic storage bins and place them under the sink or any other dark and warm location and add their veggie trimmings with some dirt (and maybe even a few worms) and VOILA! Lovely dirt for your houseplants.


Sounds gross right? Okay yeah, maybe a little. But this is actually a wonderful option for families with small kids because they get to watch the worms break down all that kitchen waste. Aside from the obvious benefit to the environment, this is also a fast way to get great nutritious soil for the plants in your home. You can find really attractive options online that won’t be an eyesore in your mudroom or pantry. 


This is actually what I recently purchased for my backyard. It is a raised option on two metal legs that allows you to spin the large middle section for easy mixing and keeps pests like mice out of the equation. It also looks sort of spacy and cool, like a weird little black spaceship parked at the back of my yard. It is partitioned into two sections, so once you fill up one you can leave it alone to “cook” and start on the other section. So far I haven’t noticed much in the way of smell, but if I do I’ll know it’s because my compost is out of balance, and not because of the composter I chose.



Okay so now we’re back to the model we were all thinking of originally, which is fine if you’ve got a yard big enough and you just prefer this classic look. These are super easy and inexpensive to build yourself, which is why they have always been the most popular mode of composting. But there are also updated versions of the original made with plastic rather than wood, and with smaller slats to prevent pests. You can find very stylish looking ones, and they tend to hold the largest amount of compost. So, if you’re thinking “man this year I’m going all-in on this gardening thing,” a compost this size might be the right choice for you! 

Posted by Corey Sylvester on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

e.g. yourwebsitename.com
Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.