6 Bear Proof Compost Bins + Tips for Composting in Bear Country

A black bear dragging a compost bin

When you put bears and compost together, you’ll usually end up with a big mess. Despite some common misconceptions, however, composting in bear country is entirely possible. Concerns about composting near bears is understandable, as black bears can smell food from over a mile away. The good news is you can safely and successfully compost in areas with lots of bears if you have the right compost bin.

If you want to prevent your yard from becoming a bear feeding site, you’ll need to keep your scraps properly stored in the right compost bin. If you’re not sure as to which compost bins can keep out a hungry bear, we’re here to help you. In this guide, we’ll cover:

So, let’s dive into our top recommendations for animal proof compost bins, but don’t forget to check out our tips on how‌ to keep the bears out of your compost.

Our recommendations for the 4 best bear proof composting bins

No matter what compost bin you use, there are ways to deter bears. If you don’t want to constantly be worrying about bears ignoring your preventative measures, however, you may want to invest in one of these bear proof composting bins.

  1. The best countertop compost bin: Lomi Home Composter
  2. The best outdoor bear proof compost bin: D.F. Omer Garden Composter
  3. The best bear proof compost tumbler: Goplus Compost Tumbler
  4. The best budget bear proof composter: Miracle-Gro One-chamber Composter

If you’d like to learn more about these products or some of the other bins we recommend, check out our helpful guide below!



The top 6 bear safe compost bins

Have you had your first hundred compost bins knocked over by bears? If not, save yourself the trouble by purchasing a bin that allows you to safely store organic waste away long enough for it to go through the composting process. The quality bins listed below are made to protect your pile by keeping out brown bears, black bears, and other critters.

1. Good Ideas CWET-BLK Compost Wizard EnviroTumbler

A large dark gray Good Ideas tumbler

Price: $229.00
Capacity: 48.6 gallons
Customer rating: 3.9/5 on Amazon

If you’re looking for a bear safe composting bin for household waste, tumblers are often the way to go. Most tumblers, like this Good Ideas model, have a reliable lid and are made of durable plastic. This composter’s other features include a good 48.6 gallon capacity, multiple air vents, and a detachable wheeled base. Its durability, along with its weight and compact design, make this tumbler a good choice for critter proof composting. 

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Great air circulation
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Creates compost tea
  • Very heavy when filled
  • Jumps off tracks occasionally
  • Pricier than most tumblers


2. Lomi Home Composter

Cut up peppers going into a lomi kitchen composter

Price: $499.00
Capacity: 3 liters/gallons​​
Customer rating: 4.5/5 on Pela

If you struggle with frequent and unwelcomed visitors, it may be time to bring your composting indoors. By composting inside, you’re protecting your kitchen scraps from bears, weather conditions, and other elements outside your control. If you want a device than can break down food waste quickly, look no further than Lomi.

This electric composter has a smaller capacity than most bins on this list, but it’s also odor-free, compact, and highly efficient. Speed is one of the major factors that make Lomi one of the best kitchen compost bins out there. This device can transform your scraps into nutrient rich dirt in less than a day using just oxygen, heat, and abrasion. The best part is that this entire process takes place far away from bears or any other critters.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Conveniently compact
  • Highly efficient
  • Creates natural fertilizer
  • Can break down Lomi Approved bioplastics
  • Smaller capacity
  • Pricier than non-electric bins
  • Sells out quickly


Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


3. Goplus Compost Tumbler

An open black Goplus tumbler and white gloves

Price: $229.99
Capacity: 43 gallons
Customer rating: 4.4/5 on Amazon

There’s a lot to appreciate about this Goplus tumbler. It has lots of oxygen inlets to ensure that your pile remains properly aerated. You can fill it with wood chips, paper bags, food scraps, and up to 43 gallons worth of other waste. Though its weight can be troublesome at times, it’s one of the features that helps prevent it from being knocked over. The tumbler also has a great twist-lock lid to keep out bears, rodents, and other critters.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Reliable twist-lock
  • Large capacity
  • Wheels offer good mobility
  • Heavy & tricky to rotate
  • No instructions provided
  • Not terribly sturdy


4. Miracle-Gro One-chamber Composter

A Miracle Gro single chamber tumbler with green lid

Price: $76.90
Capacity: 18.5 gallons
Customer rating: 4.4/5 on Amazon

Don’t have space for a large tumbler? This one-chamber composter from Miracle-Gro may be for you. It’s slim and compact, which means it can’t hold large amounts of waste. That said, it’s small enough that you can keep it on your balcony, rooftop garden, or anywhere else that a bear can’t reach. Its durable construction also creates a tight seal, which can prevent odors from escaping that normally attract bears. 

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Slim & compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good aeration system
  • Small capacity
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Dirt is hard to remove



5. Vivosun Outdoor Tumbling Composter

A black tumbler from Vivosun and blue gloves

Price: $109.99
Capacity: 43 gallons
Customer rating: 4.5/5 on Amazon

Simplify composting by buying yourself a Vivosun tumbling composter. This dual rotating bin allows you to create compost with little effort, whether you’re trying to break down grass clippings, food soiled paper towels, or any other kind of household waste. It’s made from high-quality plastic and galvanized steel. These quality materials, along with the bin’s sliding doors, help it hold up better against bears than most models. 

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Twin chambers
  • Good capacity
  • Adjustable vents
  • Difficult assembly
  • Small doors
  • Troublesome steel base


6. D.F. Omer Garden Composter

A stationary black outdoor compost bin from DF Omer

Price: $147.00
Capacity: 110 gallons
Customer rating: 4.3/5 on Amazon

Unlike the many tumblers on this list, this D.F. Omer bin is stationary. This model is ideal for anyone looking for low maintenance composting. With this bin, you can throw in your organic materials, dead leaves, and all kinds of waste without having to worry about turning the pile. What gives this bin its bear resistance is that it has a few doors - all of which are very difficult for a bear to open. 

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Great capacity
  • Sufficient aeration
  • Multiple doors
  • Slow composting process
  • Tough assembly
  • Somewhat flimsy


5 tips for keeping bears out of compost

A bear peaking into a compost bin

Want to know how to keep bears out of compost? Here are a few basic tips that can help deter bears from rummaging through your compost bin.

  1. Use ammonia: Soak a rag in ammonia and leave it in a plastic bucket by your compost bin. Bears have very sensitive noses, so the smell of ammonia should keep them away from your bin. The rag will need to be replaced every few weeks.
  2. Add more browns than greens: If you know your composting dos and donts, you’re probably familiar with balancing green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials in your compost pile. Having a 2:1 ratio of browns to greens can lessen the pile’s smell, which is often what draws bears to a compost bin.
  3. Don’t compost dairy, fish, or meat: Knowing what to compost is key to achieving healthy finished compost and keeping bears away. If you want to keep bears out of your compost, avoid adding dairy, fish, meat, or eggs to your pile. 
  4. Remember to turn your pile: Compost kept in outdoor bins should be turned regularly. This helps evenly distribute oxygen through the pile and reduces the amount of methane produced - which can attract bears.
  5. Don’t add scraps to an empty bin: Fresh food scraps in an empty bin are especially appealing to bears. A good way to deter them is to only add scraps to piles that already contain dirt and/or compost.

Save yourself the trouble of buying an electric fence by investing in a bear resistant compost bin. By ditching the low quality bins that leave your pile out in the open, you’re giving yourself your best chance at successful composting in bear country. If you really want to keep away unwelcomed visitors, however, you should consider taking your composting efforts indoors with a Lomi kitchen composter.

Written by: E Sawden