13 Reasons You Need to Know to Choose Where to Put a Compost Bin

Belen Molina 2021-06-21 8 min

You have just decided to start composting after thinking about it for a looong time. Congratulations for having the initiative! There are many things and reasons you need to know before finally embracing the composting process. One of the most important ones, apart from wondering what to compost, is where to put a compost bin. The good news is that you can do either indoor or outdoor composting. Read all the relevant reasons to choose where to place your compost bin.

  • Reasons to Put Your Compost Bin Outside:

I am sure that you told the big news to your friends and family and they probably advised you to put the compost bin in your garden. It is the most common and beneficial place to do it. Especially because of all its benefits and practicality. Let's find out the reasons you MUST be aware of before choosing the perfect spot outdoors where to put a compost bin.

1. Enough Distance Between the Kitchen and the Compost Bin

To avoid placing the compost bin near the kitchen is super important. If you keep a good balance between greens and browns, you won't have any issues regarding bad smell or plague. But in case you don't keep such balance, the bin will release ammonia and will have a putrid smell. Imagine being cooking in your kitchen and smelling such a thing! But where to place the compost bin then? Well, gardeners recommend a spot that is considerably far from the house but also it has to be easy to access. When you have food scraps you would want to take them into the compost bin as fast and easy as possible.

2. Shady Spot: Temperature´s Importance

Let's remember that the organic materials within the compost bin need to reach a hot temperature so that the process is fast. However, the compost bin should not be placed under full sun since the compost would dry out. The process requires a balance of moisture to function as expected. So, where to put a compost bin then? Our recommendation is to look for a partial shade spot in your garden, it is a win-win. Your compost will reach a hot temperature, but it won't be excessive. Plus, the compost will be ready in a short time. Moisture is an essential feature to succeed on composting as well as oxygen and heat as we mentioned above.

Outdoor composting

Eva Elijas, from Pexels

3. Closeness to Plants

I believe that this is one of the most important reasons on the list! You better pay attention :) The final goal of compost is to use it as a natural fertilizer for your plants and as a nutrient for the soil. Depending on the size of your bin, the amount and weight of your compost will vary but it will be dense and heavy. Having said that, the best location for your compost bin is close to your flowers and plants. It is a practical spot where to put a compost bin. Once compost is done, you just grab it and scatter it over the planting beds and soil without carrying it for long distances.

4. Soil´s Advantages

When speaking about where to place the compost bin, the answer “on the level soil” ends up being a recurrent advice. The truth is that placing the compost bin on soil is better than placing it on concrete or decking. First, the soil has many insects, worms and microbes that benefit the compost by migrating up to the compost bin. They will accelerate the composting process, so it is better to have them nearby. Secondly, the liquid that seeps out of the compost bin (known as leachate) can drain directly into the soil. The leachate is totally good for the surrounding planting beds and for the soil since its nutrients contribute to its healthy growth.

PSSSSST, if you live in an apartment, continue reading the article to find the best indoor composting tips :)

5. Air Circulation + Water Source

Microbes inside your compost bin need oxygen to live and decompose the materials. Oxygen is essential when composting. The majority of the compost bins have air vents that allow the entrance of air. Remember to check that they aren't blocked by vegetation or a wall, hence it won't work. Another important matter when deciding where to put the compost bin is the water source. It has to be near the compost bin so when it is dry you can moisten it quickly and effortlessly. I tell you a secret: a hose near your compost bin will become your beeeestie.

Compost bins in the garden

Manfrias Antranias Zimmer, from Pixabay

6. Working Space: Key to Choose Where to put a Compost Bin

Dividing and choosing the greens and the browns to reach the carbon: nitrogen balance requires as much space as possible. You need to be able to put a wheelbarrow in front of your compost bin to easily bring the waste from the kitchen. But why do you need working space? Well as you may know, compost needs mixing. In order to turn your compost, you need space to work comfortably. The turning improves the quality of compost and it fastens the process. Moreover, when compost is finally finished it would be easier to remove it having enough space in front of the bin. Excellent reasons to decide calmly where to put a compost bin.

7. Room for Expansion When Required

At the beginning, you will start composting and one compost bin in your garden or backyard will be enough. However, you will probably fall in love with composting and become an expert at it. One compost bin is great but having more than one will give you more benefits. You can use one bin for a specific type of waste for example. Besides, a “three bin” composting system is very popular in the market. It allows you to have different cycles of compost and more volume of waste material. Is perfect for big families whose waste is larger than the one of a sole person. Getting to know the different compost bin options expands your knowledge.

You may be interested: DIY! 5 Simple Steps to Build your own Compost Bin from Pallets.

8. Wind and Trees: Are They Relevant to Decide Where to Put a Compost Bin?

The answer is a loud and clear Y E S! Find a spot in your garden or backyard where the wind is not strong. If the wind is strong, it will dry out your compost bin and the process will be unbearably slow. Reminder: the compost has to be humid! Natural winds are ok :).

What happens with trees? N E V E R place a compost bin under a tree. The tree has roots that obtain nutrients from the soil, if you put the bin near or under the tree it will steal the compost´s nutrients. Also, the roots may grow into the bin. Be careful!

Woman Putting Garden Waste Into Composter At Home

Daisy, from Istock

Now let's move on to the Indoor Composting Tips!

Don´t miss this info if you live in an apartment or in a house without a backyard/garden.

I am sure that you are wondering where to put a compost bin inside your house. Let me tell you that there are a few options and valuable indoor composting tips to consider before doing so.

If you're ready to start, check this: Here is the complete Guide on how to Composting at Home

9. The Answer to Where to Place a Compost Bin Inside Your House has Many Variants.

You can place it on your balcony, garage and even in the kitchen. Don´t worry about intense smells or pests, the key is to choose the correct composting system.

Indoor composting in the kitchen

Lenka Dzurendova, from Unsplash

10. Special Composting Systems

There are two renowned systems: bokashi composting and vermicomposting. Both of them have charcoal filters which reduce the smell to zero and lids to stop fruit flies from coming into the bin. They are ideal for indoor composting.

11. The Where Matters as well as the Compost Bin Type

This is one of the best indoor composting tips. The better bin types are tumblers, which make turning very accessible. Also, the compost is easy to remove when it is finished and the bin speeds up the process. The benefits of indoor composting rely on the transport of food waste to the compost bin and on the decrease of waste.

12. What is Bokashi Composting?

It is an airtight bucket where you can throw your food scraps to make compost. Food scraps are compacted with effective microorganisms (EM) that make fermentation easier and also eliminates fungi and bad bacteria. The last ones are responsible for bad odor, so that is why the EM are important players. Indoor composting usually takes place in apartments where the oxygen level is lower than in gardens or backyards. This kind of composting is easy to use and inexpensive. You need to buy a Bokashi product to ensure that the liquid of compost is drained.

13. What is Vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting consists of using earthworms to convert and process waste material into compost. Food scraps are eaten by those worms. As opposed to Bokashi composting, this type requires special care. That is because worms need to have a specific temperature, moisture and a carbon source to do their job correctly. The advantages are that the finished compost is of excellent quality and that these types of bins are clean.

More info here: Vermiculture: How it start with it and take care of your Worms

Take your time to write down the outdoor and the indoor composting tips and start applying them into your composting process. I guarantee you that the decision of where to put a compost bin will be easy once you have read this article. Whether it is indoor or outdoor composting I am sure that you will find the perfect spot to place your compost bin. Good luck!

Belen Molina

I am a passionate person about healthy food and the environment. Translator/copywriter.

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