Compost Pile vs Bin – Which is Right For You?

Collage of organic compost pile with waste vegetables and compost bin full of kitchen food and garden wasteThere is nothing quite like making your own compost, but what is the best method to choose? Depending on how much space you have on your property, you might be considering creating a compost pile or hiding away your developing compost in a bin. Both a compost pile and a compost bin are surefire methods of making nutritious and viable compost. Still, there are some pros and cons you should consider before making a final decision.
Compost piles are a traditional way of putting carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich elements in a heap, which transform into compost with enough time, heat, and moisture. Compost piles do run the risk of becoming messy, smelly, and require ample space. A compost bin will keep your kitchen scraps, paper, grass clippings, and other carbon and nitrogen substances hidden away from sight. There is also greater control over a compost’s development, moisture, and heat when using an enclosed bin. 
Using a compost pile or a compost bin are acceptable ways to develop your compost for your yard or garden. If you have a lot of patience and a sizable property, creating a compost pile is a labor of love and devotion. Make sure that no local laws restrict making a compost pile because of the potential to create a nuisance or eyesore. Dedicated composters may want to use a compost bin because it is a more controlled and cleaner way to make compost fast. Keep reading for more details!

Creating Compost With a Bin

Making compost at home is an enriching experience because a gardener gets the opportunity to develop a substance that benefits plants, add nutrient-rich elements to the soil, and reduces reliance on synthetic fertilizers. Instead of having to struggle with routinely turning over compost manually, a compost bin allows you to effortlessly rotate your carbon and nitrogen materials without making a big mess.
Compost bins are a convenient and economical way to create nutrient-rich, dense compost indoors or outdoors. Because compost bins are a closed system, they are efficient at draining off excess moisture, reduce noxious odors, and easily combine green and brown materials. When looking for a compost bin, you want to know how much space you’ll need for the amount of compost you wish to develop, whether you are composting inside or outside, and how much you are willing to spend.
When choosing a compost bin, you’ll notice that they are available in a host of different sizes and materials. The construction material of a compost bin does have an impact on the durability and nature of your container. Also, know that larger compost bins tend to develop compost faster than smaller ones. If you are interested in adding worms to improve and further the development of your compost, you can readily do so with a compost bin similar to using them in a compost pile.
Overall, a composting bin is most beneficial for the following reasons:
  • Makes it difficult for rodents and pests to interfere with the compost
  • A closed system helps regulate moisture, heat, and reduces odors
  • Bins are available in stationary and wheeled versions
  • The time it takes for compost to be ready-to-use is typically faster than a traditional pile
  • Compost can be ready for your plants and yard in as little as three months
Cons regarding using a composting bin are as follows:
  • If a container is too large for the owner, it may be difficult to rotate the materials
  • The amount of compost developed is limited to the cubic area of space inside the bin

Using a compost bin is pretty straight forward, depending on whether you choose one that has a vertical or horizontal orientation. These bins are designed, so mixing nitrogen and carbon-rich elements is a cinch.  Purchasing a small compost bin for indoors may cost under $50. Average compost bins typically cost around $100 and can be as expensive as $500.

Check out this adorable indoor kitchen compost bin on Amazon.

Check out this large compost bin on Amazon.

Check out this lightweight plastic compost bin on Amazon.

The Value of a Traditional Compost Pile

Making a compost pile might be a cherished and traditional method, but there are some setbacks to using this method. Without the protection of a bin, chicken wire, or another barrier, pests may try to get into your compost and wreak havoc.  Also, compost piles can become pretty demanding when you need to turn the layers, and foul odors may emerge if something goes wrong while processing.
It is vital to check with your local laws to ensure it is permissible to make a compost heap on your property. Some locations may not be so enthusiastic about a compost pile that can attract rodents, makes terrible smells, or detracts from a neighborhood’s beauty. Although composting is good for the environment, reduces landfill waste, and enriches plants and soil, there are still some misconceptions and challenges regarding the process of transforming waste products into a green thumb’s boon.
Unlike a compost bin that is enclosed and can hurry along the process of creating ready-to-use compost in less than a year, using the traditional pile method to make compost can take up to a year before it is good to go. Because a compost pile is out in the open, a minimum of space is required. It is an excellent practice to have an area measuring three feet wide, three feet long, and allowing for a height of three feet to create your compost.
There are some pros to using a compost pile:
  • It is a traditional and time-honored method to create compost and control your layers
  • If you have plenty of yard space, you can keep your compost outside of the home
  • An open pile gets access to the sun and natural elements to further its progress
  • A compost pile is hands-on and gets you in touch with nature
Some cons about using a compost pile include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • A poorly protected pile is vulnerable to rodents and other pests
  • It takes at least a year before the compost is ready to apply to plants or soil
  • There may be problems with foul odors, moisture control, and protection against the elements
Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor compost bin made from polyurethane, ceramic, or steel, or you decide to create a compost pile, there is the perfect method for you.
Are you curious about what’s the best thing to add to your compost pile? Click here to learn more.
Are you unsure about where you should place your compost? Click here and get the answers.

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