So you have decided to start composting, but now you are faced with the big question: Where to place the compost bin? If you are new to composting, you might think it is a fairly straightforward question. But picking the right location for your compost makes a big difference to the composting process. That's why we have gathered 10 tips on choosing the best spot for your compost bin. Here's what we will be looking at in case you want to jump ahead:
Table of contents
Before choosing the ideal location for your compost bin, let's first look at what you should consider in a perfect compost spot.
3 considerations for picking the best location for your indoor compost bin
You shouldn't have to spend a lot of time thinking about where to place compost bins when you are just starting. There are, however, a few things to consider when it comes to the placement of your compost bin.
#1 Ease of access
You want to be able to easily access your compost when you need it. You might have it under the kitchen sink or, depending on the type of composter you use, sitting on your kitchen counter. There are many different options when it comes to indoor compost bin and they are super easy to use. However, you aren’t going to want to compost if your compost bin isn’t easy to access. If you do most of your food prep in one area, try to find a spot nearby that you can easily deposit your food scraps. An electric composter like Lomi would be a great option. It’s a sleek, small kitchen appliance you can keep in your food prep area and it doesn’t smell!
It makes sense since it isn't far from where your kitchen scraps are. It might seem ideal, but nobody wants to walk up to look at decomposing food scraps while they eat or prepare food. Composting is a rewarding process, but it isn't pretty. Decomposing kitchen waste and other organic materials are just not visually appealing. And sometimes, even with your best efforts, a compost pile can start to smell and attract pests. You can tuck it away somewhere that isn't easily seen like under a cabinet or in your freezer (this can also help with smells). You should also make sure you have a critter-proof compost bin so any animals in the house can't make a huge mess of your compost bin.
#3 Make sure you have enough space
This tip should go without saying, but make sure you have enough space for your compost bin. The size bin you need is going to depend on your family size, so consider that as well. Larger families generate more kitchen scraps than smaller ones. One compost bin might not be enough for your family and you might consider either a two-bin or three-bin composting system. You might even have to consider an outdoor compost bin or pile, if you have that option. The ideal amount of space for an outdoor compost pile is 3 feet by 3 feet.
In regards to space, you also want to consider the amount of space needed to turn or aerate your compost pile. You'll want some elbow room in your working space to properly turn your compost.
You might also consider using a compost tumbler if space is limited. Compost tumblers are lifted up off the ground and have multiple chambers inside. Indoor compost bins are another option if space is limited. We have a list of the best compost bins that fit any space to help you find the right compost bin for you.
How to pick the best location for your outdoor compost pile?
Having difficulty determining how to pick the perfect spot for your outdoor compost pile? Here are the top considerations to keep in mind while looking for the right location for your compost pile.
#1 Distance from the kitchen
Say it is raining or snowing out and your indoor compost bin is ready to overflow. Is it too much work to go out and add your kitchen scraps to your outdoor compost bin? When choosing a spot for your compost bin, it is important to consider how much effort you will put into walking outside to it. You want an easy access spot. If you can't be bothered to take your kitchen waste to the pile, you need to find a better location for your compost.
#2 Distance from the garden
Another thing to consider choosing where to put a compost bin is how far is it away from your garden. You aren't going to want to lug your finished compost to your garden or your garden waste to your compost pile if you have to travel a long distance. Maybe it won't be so bad if you have a wheelbarrow, but you still have to scoop the compost into the wheelbarrow before putting it in the garden. Just cut out the middleman and put your compost bin right next to your plants.
While putting a compost pile or bin near the garden is a great idea, you want to avoid putting it under a tree. While the shade is nice, the roots of the tree will steal a lot of the nutrients from the compost that you want for your plants.
#3 Be mindful of neighbors
The expression "good fences make good neighbors" also applies to a well-placed compost bin. For all the reasons above, you want to keep your compost bin away from your neighbor's property. If you don't want to look at your compost pile, they probably don't either and they probably don't want to smell it either.
#4 Choose a spot that's not too cold and not too hot
Cold temperatures slow down the decomposition process which means it will take a very long time for you to have finished compost. Choose a location that gets a bit of sunshine to keep your compost at a good temperature.
Alternately, you don't want a spot that gets too hot and sunny. Too much sun will dry out your compost pile which can also slow down the composting process. Maintaining proper moisture levels is important for healthy compost. A shady spot that still gets a little bit of sunshine during the deal is ideal.
#5 Don't put it too close to the house
As we said earlier, a compost bin or pile that is too close to the house is not visually appealing, but you don't want to have it so far away that it can deter you from bringing your scraps to your outdoor compost bin. Keeping your compost bin at least 10 feet away from the house is a good balance between these considerations.
#6 Choose a level, well-draining spot
A level surface is important for your compost, but if you are using an open-bottomed bin or a compost pile, you want to make sure the area you choose drains well. Too much water means soggy compost and that leads to a smelly mess. You can monitor areas in your yard to see where puddles accumulate and avoid those areas.
#7 Find a spot near a water source
If you choose a spot that doesn't get too hot and dry but also doesn't have a lot of stagnant water, your moisture levels in your compost bin should be good to go. Even with an ideal location, your compost might need some help with staying wet enough. You want your compost to be like a damp sponge and not too soggy. Choosing a spot that is near a water source or within range of a hose can ensure that you maintain proper moisture in your compost bin.
#8 Avoid concrete and wooden surfaces
We talked about finding a well-draining area but it is important to make sure your compost bin is also on a well-draining surface material, like soil. Avoid putting your compost on concrete or a deck. These areas aren't ideal for drainage and they also don't allow the compost to come into contact with soil, where microbes and worms can access your compost and help with decomposition.
Another thing to consider is as your kitchen scraps decompose, the liquid that drains from your pile will drain out the bottom. This liquid is called leachate, also known as compost tea, and can be a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden as well as house plants. You can collect this liquid, but if you have your compost bin on a surface like concrete or your deck, it may stain.
If you have to put your compost on your deck, consider a compost bin like a bokashi composting bin or a similar bin that collects your leachate and has a spigot on the bottom so you can easily collect this nutrient-rich liquid.
Try Lomi for a convenient kitchen compost bin option
Perhaps you don't have the space for an outdoor compost bin or you are looking for an option to take a lot of the guesswork out of the composting process. Lomi is a quick and easy way to compost your food scraps. No need to worry about finding a perfect spot for your compost bins. This small electric compost bin breaks down your household food waste in a matter of a few hours and takes up minimal space on your kitchen counter.
Don't have enough counter space in the kitchen? That's fine, you can put your Lomi on any stable surface. It doesn't smell like traditional compost bins, so you don't have to worry about it stinking up your house! And it's quiet so it won't disrupt your daily activities. Choose a spot that is most convenient for your needs.
Composting with Lomi is super simple. Put your food scraps in the bin, toss in a Lomi pod, and hit the button to start composting. In just a few hours, you will have nutrient-rich dirt that you can use to fertilize your plants. It works great in your garden or on houseplants.
While it takes a little bit of thought to choose an ideal location for your compost bin, it doesn't have to be too complicated. Whether you choose to have an indoor compost bin, compost tumbler, outdoor compost heap, or an electric composter like Lomi, it is important to find a setup that works for you. You're not going to want to keep composting if it is too much work.
Check out what users are saying about how much space and time Lomi saves them. And then get out there and start composting!
Written by: Sarah Kendal