What’s The Best Compost Bin (UK)? Review Of The Best UK Compost Bins For 2022
How does it sit with you that in the UK, chances are decent that your local authority has increased garden refuse collection rates? If they have not raised the rate already, chances are they will do soon. And if you’re miffed about it, then you’ll definitely want to invest in a compost bin. Here we review the best compost bins.
Among UK gardeners, the composting of garden and food wastes (some of them) has been a popular pursuit, likely since the time that people first became interested in gardening. That may have been as long ago as 900,000 years since that is when the first UK human existence has been recorded from (Homo antecessor, which is said to be an ‘archaic’ human species).
These days, though, the reasoning behind composting is a bit different. These days, besides the fact that good-quality compost enriches the soil, it’s also an effective method for reducing waste and transforming household food scraps into something much more productive than simply dumping it in the trash can – or should I say “cans”, since nowadays, we have so many “cans” to choose from.
Composting is ideal for those that wish to do their bit on eco-friendly terms. Plus, composting can be ideal because it helps to reduce the requirement for chemical fertilisers.
Given that there are now a wide variety of composters (aka compost bins) available, the typical, rather unsightly compost piles that you may remember seeing years ago are fortuitously pretty much a thing of the past.
When I say “wide variety of composters”, there are bin composters, there are tumblers, there are wormers, worm farms, and even something called worm factories.
But how to choose what’s right for your needs, even if you do know what all of these terms mean?
On top of that, there are various brands of compost bins. There are different sizes. Different designs. Different features.
It’s no longer a case of dumping fallen leaves into a pile in the backyard and forgetting about it – the pile.
Not to worry, though, as I cover everything you need to know in this article.
Let’s check out the best UK compost bins available for 2020.
(Incidentally, this post contains links to products. Please make the assumption that at least some of the links may result in earning commissions. Thank you.)
Best Compost Bin Reviews
Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy Review
Not exactly the typical compost bin, but still, potentially, pursuing the same function, the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy performs the job of sorting the disposable, potentially compostable waste that comes from the kitchen.
Mind you, it can be used to sort other stuff besides compostable waste materials: Plastics, tin cans, and what have you.
Brabantia is a recognised and quality brand, perhaps best known for its line of laundry accessories such as cloth drying items (think whirlygig, for example). I like to buy from this company because they always offer a decent guarantee on the stuff they sell. And, if you really want to know, Brabantia is a Dutch company.
The Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy, which is only available in hard plastic, comes in various sizes: 3 litre, 6, litre, 12 litre, and 16 litre. It also is available in a variety of colours: Mint, yellow, dark grey, white, and grey.
So, as you’ve very likely gathered, the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy is the perfect item for kitchen waste separation. It comes with a sturdy carrying handle and it can either be freestanding or can be fixed to your wall (fittings are included with your purchase). It’s easily washed and disinfected.
There are liner bags that come with the Caddy, and you can buy extras that are sold by Brabantia, too – Brabantia PerfectFit Bags. However, word has it that, when the bags are full, they can be tricky to tie up. Plus, the Brabantia PerfectFit Bags are not the cheapest bin liners around. So, with this in mind, you may prefer to buy liner bags at your local supermarket or someplace like Lidl or Aldi.
Otherwise, these 100% biodegradable kitchen waste bags that are made from corn starch are a good alternative. Available in 6-litre, 8-litre, and 10-litre sizes and you get a box of 150 of them for a very good price.
Back to the product under review…
The lid, which is hinged, comes off completely so dumping stuff out is easy and it’s also easier to clean.
As mentioned, Brabantia offers a good-length guarantee with this item: 10 years in all.
Other than all of that, the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy is a very affordable choice if you wish to sort your food scraps or to sort your other waste materials (plastic bottles, tin cans, etc.).
Features and Specifications
Available Colours: Mint, yellow, dark grey, white, and grey.
Available Sizes: 3 litre, 6, litre, 12 litre, and 16 litre.
Weight: 662g – 966g, depending on capacity.
Guarantee: 10 years.
Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy Pros and Cons
- Variable sizes to fit any kitchen.
- Variable colours to fit in with almost any decor.
- Very affordable.
- 10-year guarantee.
- Very easy to clean.
Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy FAQs
Question: Can fruit flies get inside the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy?
Answer: If the lid is kept down then no.
Question: Inexpensive compostable liners. Any good compostable liners for the Brabantia Food Waste Caddy?
Answer: Some suggestions have been given above in the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy review. Otherwise, if you want something quite a bit larger then the Lidl Purio 15L is a good one. £1.49 for 15.
Home Bargains have 10l size bags and you can get a roll of those (25 bags) for around one pound.
Or, if your council supplies food waste bags you can use those.
Amazon sells them – green biodegradable bags that are made from corn starch and come in 6 litre, 8 litre, and 10 litre sizes. 150 bags for around £9.
Question: What length are the fixing screws for fixing to a cupboard door?
Answer: Fixing screws are 18mm long/ 0.7 inches.
Question: Can the supplied wall mount that comes with the Brabantia Food Waste Caddy be used to hang the caddy to the inside of a cupboard door?
Answer: Shouldn’t be a problem. Just ensure that the screws don’t go right through to the other side of the door.
Question: What are the dimensions of the 12 litre and 16 litre and Brabantia Food Waste Caddies?
Answer: The Brabantia Food Waste Caddy measurements:
12L – Width: 20cm / Depth (back to front): 25cm / Height: 35cm approx.
16L – Width: 21cm / Depth (back to front): 27cm / Height: 41cm approx.
Question: How does the Brabantia Food Waste Caddy fit to the bracket?
Answer: The Food Waste Caddy has a strip to the rear. The strip slots inside the bracket. This way it’s easy to lift the bin off and to slip it back on again.
Question: Do you need to use bags with the Brabantia Sort and Go Food Waste Caddy? I find the biodegradable bags take some time to reach a compostable stage.
Answer: No, you don’t need to use bags. Simply rinse the caddy out when you empty it.
300 Litre Garden Composter Review
The 300 Litre Garden Composter is a composting bin that comes with a hinged lid and a hatch door on the front at the base so you can view the compost without having to dig it out from the top.
It’s ideal for composting fallen leaves, grass clippings, some food scraps (though not cooked foods or dairy scraps as this encourages rodents), and more.
It has numerous ventilation openings and the colour is black which is good for the development of heat – necessary for the composting process to function at its best.
The Composter has an easy-click system to put it together. It’s delivered as a flat-pack and with the easy-click system, it’s, well… easy to assemble.
It’s manufactured from hard plastic so it’s pretty durable.
Note that the 300 Litre Garden Composter does not come with a base. Why not? It’s designed in such a way that it ought to stand on grass or bare soil. This way, worms and other creatures of the night and day can make their way in and out for a better composting process to occur. It could stand on a hard base such as wood or block paving, but you would then have to introduce the worms and other arthropods, etc. yourself.
The hinge-type lid makes it easy enough to lift the lid when your hands are full. Just lever it up with your elbow and no need to fiddle around. Plus, the lid is almost the same dimensions as the entire top of the composter, so there’s plenty of space available for the ‘dumping in’ process to occur.
Keep in mind that the 300 Litre Garden Composter is a black 300-litre plastic box. As such, it’s hardly the most attractive garden accessory. Best positioned well out of the way of your decking and pergola.
Features and Specifications
Available Colours: Black.
Capacity: 300 litres.
Dimensions: 61 cm wide x 61 cm long x 83 cm high.
Weight: 4.7 kg.
300 Litre Garden Composter Pros and Cons
- Hinge-type lid is plenty large enough for easy ‘dumping’ to occur.
- Capacity of 300 litres large enough for most UK gardens (though too large for some).
- Price is extremely competitive.
- Functions very well at the composting process.
- Not the prettiest garden accessory.
- No base plate (not necessarily a bad thing, though).
300 Litre Garden Composter FAQs
Question: Is the 300-litre Garden Composter a complete system – does it come with a base?
Answer: There’s no base with this compost bin. Rather, the design means that it should stand on grass or bare soil. This allows the worms to get into the compost. You can make a base for it yourself but you would then have to introduce worms etc. for the composting processes to work.
Question: Can I add worms to this composting bin?
Answer: If the bin is located on soil the worms will find a way to get inside. If you wish to buy some worms and add those be sure that they are an indigenous species. Some worm species are aggressive and unfriendly.
Question: Does the front of the composter bin open so that the compost can be turned?
Answer: No. There’s a relatively small door at the base on the front side that slides up and down. But it’s not large enough to turn the compost. So, either you need to fork the compost from the top or you can invest in a compost turner tool such as the Dolmen Compost Mixer and Aerator (see the image below).
Question: Is this composter suitable for garden and food waste?
Answer: To a point, yes. Garden waste (grass clippings and all the other garden-waste goodies), most definitely. And most food wastes – raw veggies, fruit, tea bags, eggshells, that kind of thing. But NOT meat, fish, or dairy products. For meat, fish, and dairy products you would need to buy a specific type of composter to then generate a high-quality compost you can use in the garden. Read: How to compost all food waste for more information.
Question: Because this compost bin has no base does it attract rats and mice?
Answer: It shouldn’t, not unless you add raw meat, raw fish, or dairy products. And you ought not do that because, well, it will attract rats and mice. You may find the odd mouse but that’s likely because it’s hibernating. It’s going to be nice and warm inside the compost bin once the composting processes begin!
Question: What are the compost bin’s dimensions?
Answer: 24″ (61 cm) square x 30″ (76 cm) high.
Blackwall 220L/330L Composter Converter Review
The Blackwall 220 Litre Composter Converter (choice of 330 litre also available) is definitely among the top choices of garden composting bins in the UK today.
It comes with a fully removable front hatch located at the base and to the front of the composter. This allows you to view the condition of the most mature compost without having to dig it out from the top.
The lid is ‘push-fit’, which essentially means it doesn’t have a tendency to blow open or blow away in high winds.
The composter is manufactured using 100% recycled plastic so an investment here is an investment in our planet, so to speak.
There’s an optional base plate, too. So if you wish to stand the composter on firm ground – tarmac, block paving, you name it… then you have that option. Mind you, the base plate has to be purchased separately.
The Blackwall Composter is available in green and in black. The Blackwall Composter is available with a 220-litre capacity and a 330-litre capacity.
Features and Specifications
Available Colours: Black and green.
Capacity: 220 or 330 litres.
Dimensions: For 220-litre composter: 74 cm width x 90 cm high. For 330-litre composter: 80 cm width x 100 cm high.
Weight: For 220-litre composter: 4.1 kg. For 330-litre composter: Unknown data.
Blackwall 220L/330L Composter Converter Pros and Cons
- Sturdy build.
- Great price.
- Works very well at its key job – composting and converting.
- Push-fit lid is easy to open/ close and doesn’t blow off in the wind.
- Actually doesn’t look too bad in the garden.
- A fairly minor con is that if you want the base plate, you have to purchase it separately.
Blackwall 220/ 330 Litre Composter Converter FAQs
Question: How many pieces does the Blackwall Composter Converter have?
Answer: Three in all, the lid, hatch, and compost bin. There’s also a composting guide.
Question: What are the dimensions of the 220 litre Blackwall Composter?
Answer: The bin is 92 cm (36 inches) in height and the base is approximately 76 cm (30 inches) in diameter. The top section is 50 cm (20 inches) in diameter.
Question: What type of plastic is the Blackwall Composter made from?
Answer: A blend of all types of recycled plastics.
Question: Is the Blackwall Composter suitable for earthworms?
Answer: Yes, and for other beneficial creatures that help with the composting process.
At times the bin’s contents will be hot. This will encourage the worms, etc. to congregate towards the top of the bin. This is a natural part of the process as well.
Question: Do earthworms survive in this composter?
Answer: Yes. And they also thrive.
Question: Does the Blackwall Composter Converter have a base?
Answer: Yes, but the base is sold separately. You only need a base if you are locating the compost bin on a hard surface.
Question: How long does the Blackwall take to process the compost?
Answer: Around 12 months.
Question: Can you put dog excrement in the compost bin?
Answer: It is advised not to put dog excrement into your compost bin.
Envirocycle Composter Review
The Envirocycle Composter is much more towards the luxury end of composters/ compost bins. And that is reflected, first of all, in the price tag.
But does the price tag really justify an investment in the Envirocycle? And is it really necessary to buy a luxury composter?
Read on to find out.
The manufacturer of the Envirocycle has this to say: It’s “the most beautiful composter in the world. We invented it. They try to copy it. We keep improving it”.
Yes, it may be the most beautiful composter in the world – it’s available in the colour of pink!
Actually, it’s available in pink and black. Personally, I’m a colour black kinda guy, particularly when it comes to composer.
Anyway, the Envirocycle produces liquid as well as solid compost. Liquid compost? Interesting.
The composter is made from BPA, rust-free, food-safe, antioxidant-protected, and UV-protected materials.
There’s no assembly required – you buy it and you get it all set up and ready to rumble in your garden jungle.
It has a capacity of 133 litres or there’s a smaller version that comes with a capacity of 65 litres. The 133-litre composter measures 64.5cm long x 54.6cm wide x 70.4cm high. The 65-litre job measures 48.3cm long x 47.6cm wide x 54.6cm high.
The Envirocycle has been designed so that it can be positioned close to your home or anyplace within your garden. It’s regarded, at least by the manufacturer, as a thing of beauty. Thus, unlike many other composters, it’s not something to be hidden away where no one can see it. Quite the opposite, actually, because it will encourage (hopefully positive and inquisitive) comments from your visitors.
In fact, you can position this composter on your patio, on your deck, or on your balcony. It’s compact enough to do so, particularly the 65-litre version. And with its elegant design, as mentioned, the Envirocycle is an attractive-looking gadget as opposed to something that should be hidden from sight.
The Envirocycle Composter combines a compost tumbler drum together with a compost tea-maker base. The drum, which, as you might imagine, sits atop the base, rotates thereby creating a solid compost. It’s your choice if you wish to collect the excess, which is in liquid form – otherwise known as ‘compost tea’.
The best way to siphon this ‘compost tea’ off is demonstrated in the Envirocycle videos which are available online.
The videos are useful to watch. Problem is, at least for me, the video voiceover is one of those robotic things that can prove to be a little irritating.
I thought I would indulge you, so here are the Envirocycle videos about composting, entirely for your pleasure:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KK3CIK6 Home Composting is Easy
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KK3LKYG Turn Up the Heat
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KK4DOXU Cutting it Down to Size
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KK451EK Mixing Things Up
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KK3GQ7W Fill ‘er Up
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQCCVEA Dual Batch Composting
As an adjunct, there’s no need to add worms to the Envirocycle Composter. Simply turn the handle from time to time and the composting occurs, almost on auto.
The fact that there is a handle and the fact that this handle has to be turned from time to time for the composting processes to occur may be of concern. After all, some handle-turning composters are really tough going. Nevertheless, with the Envirocycle, that’s not the case. It’s exceptionally easy to turn the handle/ composter, even when it’s full.
Features and Specifications
Material: Food-safe, BPA- and rust-free, UV- and antioxidant protected materials.
Available Colours: Black and pink.
Capacity: 65 or 133 litres.
Dimensions: For 65-litre composter: 48.3 cm long x 47.6 cm wide x 54.6 cm high. For 133-litre composter: 64.5 cm long x 54.6 cm wide x 70.4 cm high.
Weight: For 65-litre composter: 6.3 kg. For 133-litre composter: 11.2 kg.
Envirocycle Composter Pros and Cons
- Sturdy, unique build.
- Works very well and does not require the addition of worms or other composting creatures.
- Very easy turning process – suitable for any age group and any physical ability.
- Unique appearance is a talking point – more a thing of beauty or curiosity than something to be hidden at the bottom of the garden.
- Can be positioned in small spaces – patio, decking, balcony, etc.
- It’s very costly.
- The small capacity means it’s not suited to every gardener’s requirements.
Envirocycle Composter FAQs
Question: Does the Envirocycle Composter work as a wormery?
Answer: It’s not a wormery. It’s a tumbler and compost maker. Nevertheless, you can add worms and they will do very well.
If you do add worms don’t turn the compost as this can harm the worms. Furthermore, if worms are added, keep the composter in a shaded place so that the heat from direct sunlight doesn’t harm the worms.
Question: What should be done when the Envirocycle Composter is full?
Answer: Once the Composter is full continue to turn it – every three days turn three full revolutions. This will help the compost inside to ‘cook’ and it’s ideal for the alternating principle to work.
If you wish, you can invest in a second composter and begin to fill this one up. Once the second composter is full a mature batch of compost will be available from the first composter. You can add this compost to your garden.
Question: Some people say that you should not add lemon skins to a garden composter. Is it true I should not add lemon peel to the compost bin?
Answer: This is untrue. You can add lemon skins to a compost bin. The best thing to do is to cut the lemon peels, and any other citrus peels, into relatively small pieces. This will ensure they break down more rapidly.
Question: How often should the Envirocycle Composter be turned?
Answer: While you are filling the Composter and once it is filled to the top turn the Envirocycle three full cycles every three days. This will speed the composting process up.
Question: Can food waste be added to the Envirocycle compost bin?
Answer: Adding food waste to any compost bin is not recommended if the food waste is dairy products, meat scraps or fish scraps. If you add such food wastes to your compost it will potentially attract animals, including mice and rats. Plus, the door will be rather off-putting.
For food-scrap wastes, it is recommended you use a specific type of composter. You can find out about this type of composter here: How to compost all food waste.
Question: How much does the 133 litre Envirocycle Composter hold? What’s the total volume?
Answer: The drum of the Envirocycle Composter (the main part) holds up to 35 gallons (133 litres) of compost. The base (where the compost tea is collected) holds up to 2.5 gallons (9.5 litres).
Question: Can you use biodegradable compost bags in the Envirocycle Composter?
Answer: It’s not recommended that you use biodegradable compost bags because they take quite some time to break down.
Question: Which is the best size of Envirocycle Composter for me? I live alone.
Answer: For households with three people or more, the larger-sized Envirocycle will likely be better. So, for you, chances are because you live alone the smaller size would be a wise choice.