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Compost Pile Vs A Compost Bin: Facts for A Better Decision

Both compost piles and compost bins are a great way to recycle all the food scraps and garden waste you generate at home.

A compost pile is created by placing a layer of green materials on the bottom, such as vegetables, and then adding a layer of brown materials, such as fallen leaves. Compost bins are containers where you can put dry or wet organic waste to turn into compost. 

Both compost piles and compost bins have their own merits and demerits. For example, Compost bins provide safe and easy access for composting food wastes, which means less mess and odor. But the best thing about compost piles is that they don’t require any special skills or tools and are cost-efficient compared to compost piles. 

There’s a lot to know about the difference between a compost bin and a compost pile. This article compares both compost piles and compost bins, giving the clear benefits of each so you can make a more calculated decision on which one you should use.

Compost Pile Vs Compost Bin

Defining What is a Compost Pile and a Compost Bin

A compost pile is a collection of organic material allowed to decompose to create a natural fertilizer. An open mound of organic material breaks down and creates compost. 

On the other hand, a compost bin is an enclosed container that holds the organic material until it breaks down enough to be used as compost. 

The container can be anything from a barrel or box to an elevated frame with an enclosed top, which allows for aeration. It is used to store and manage organic materials.

Is it Better to have a Compost Pile or a Bin?

The decision of which is better between a compost pile or compost bin depends on what you are looking for. 

Both compost piles and compost bins are excellent methods for composting effectively.

Compared to the compost pile, compost Bins are a modern method of composting, which is a traditional approach to decomposing organic materials. 

So, are you looking to choose the best compost pile or compost bin? If so, you need to consider some crucial conditions like time, space, size, and other similar factors associated with composting that need to be taken into account. 

But one thing is for sure you can choose either of them as these are great choices if you are looking for the best and most effective composting methods at home. 

In the next section of the article, a comparison has been made between compost bins and compost piles. This comparison has been made on certain parameters that can help you decide which is best for you. 

Comparing Compost Bin and Compost Pile 

Are you Looking for the different features that compost bins and compost piles can offer you? Here is a simple comparison table that will help you make a suitable choice on what to choose and which is better for you. 

Comparison has been made on certain parameters that one should consider when deciding what to choose. Let’s see the parameters and figure out the best for you. 

ParametersCompost BinCompost Pile
Space Less space is required in the case of a compost bin. More space is required for compost piles because of fewer confines for the compost material. 
OdorsIf compactly closed, it restricts the odor coming from decomposition. It releases a foul smell. 
Labor-Intensity This method requires the use of less labor. You just have to add waste, wait for the process to take place and use it. This method is highly labor-intensive. In order to get good results, the compost pile needs to be turned frequently.  
Time The compost bin takes less time for decomposing the material. It takes around 3 weeks for rough compost, and it may take up to 3 months for fine compost. Heat and moisture are regulated well in the compost bin. Cold compost piles take around 6 months to 12 months, and hot compost piles may take approximately 3-4 weeks. 
Amount Composition Less volume of compost is prepared due to the limitation of bin volume. A higher volume of compost can be prepared. Even more waste can be accommodated in multiple piles.  
Flies Attraction Flies and fruit flies have limited access to the composting material.  Flies are more common in compost piles. They have smooth access to composting material and can proliferate on it readily. 
Access by Rodents Less access to rodents. Prevents the nesting by rodents due to limited access. Attracts rodents due to open access to the composting material. Provides a suitable nesting site for rodents.  
Cost A meager amount has to be spent on the purchase of compost bins from the store, or it can be homemade as well. Compost piles can be made with little or no cost. 
Eyes-appealing Make the garden look more neat and clean. Compost bins are visually more appealing.  Compost piles detract from the beauty of the garden. They are visually less attractive. 

Were you able to figure out the best for you? If yes, then great. If not, then don’t worry. Here’s something more for you. 

In the next part of the article, we will discuss why a person should choose a compost bin over a compost pile and vice versa. It will discuss the advantages or disadvantages that each of the choices offers over each other. 

8 Reasons to Choose Compost Bin Over Compost Pile 

Compost bin

Compost bins are containers built to hold the composting materials more control. They can have a lid or other features to help with the process.

The advantages of compost bins over compost piles include: 

  1. A compost bin will provide more aeration and easier access for the user, but it requires more maintenance than a simple pile. Better aeration is a crucial factor in the composting process.
  2. Compost bins are usually made from plastic or metal and come in many shapes and sizes. They can be purchased from a hardware store, garden center, or online.
  3. The ability to control the temperature inside the bin (which helps decompose the material) is one of the best features of compost bins. 
  4. It provides easier access to the compost when it’s time to add more materials. 
  5. It reduces the risk of animal intrusion.
  6. Compost bins are more practical and economical than compost piles. 
  7. A Compost pile requires a lot of space, while a compost bin doesn’t. You can place it anywhere in your garden or backyard, and it will be the best spot for your kitchen scraps.
  8. Compost piles require turning at least once every week to ensure that the decomposition process continues well, while compost bins only need to be turned once every few weeks or months.

5 Reasons to Choose Compost Pile over Compost Bin 

Compost pile

A compost pile is an organic material that decomposes and eventually turns down into compost. It can be created by layering different materials, such as leaves, grass, food scraps, and paper.

A compost pile is a better option than a compost bin because of the following reasons:

  1. The time it takes for a compost pile to become usable depends on the size of the pile and how often it is turned over. It will take longer than using a bin because there is less airflow in a pile.
  2. The compost pile is a less expensive option than the compost bin. It is also easier to build and maintain.
  3. A compost pile is cheaper than a compost bin. Compost bins are expensive and require a lot of time to set up, which can inconvenience people who live in apartments or have limited space.
  4. Compost piles are more natural and less labor-intensive than compost bins. They require less work and maintenance, making them a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable option for people who want to make their compost without spending too much money on expensive machines or equipment.
  5. Compost piles are better for the environment because they produce fewer methane gas emissions than compost bins that use electricity to heat the decomposing material inside it, causing greenhouse gas emissions.

Best Compost Bin to Buy

There are many compost bins available in the market. Each one has its pros and cons. Let’s have a look at all of them one by one. In this part of the article, we have sorted some of the best compost bins that you would surely like. 

FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter

IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter

If you want to get the composting done without letting your hands dirty, the FCMP Outdoor Chamber Tumbling composter is for you. This standing composter is effective and creates no mess. It just requires a few turns every other day. You don’t have to dig your hands. This composter is affordable and easy to empty. 

Why choose this product?

  • Large capacity 
  • Durable 
  • User-friendly 
  • Works quickly  

Miracle-Gro Single Chamber Tumbler

Miracle-Gro Small Composter - Compact Single Chamber Outdoor Garden Compost Bin

Miracle-Gro Single Chamber Tumbler is another best option after FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter. This composter comes with a hand trowel, a cultivator, and a garden fork, which helps transfer the nutrient-rich matter when it’s ready. It’s a perfect choice for households. It’s neither too big nor too small.

Why choose this product? 

  • User-friendly 
  • Medium Sized 
  • Works quickly

VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter Dual

VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter Dual

If you are looking for an affordable and straightforward composter, this is the right choice. This compost bin is straightforward to set up and is counted as one of the best-buy budget products.

Why choose this product? 

  • Long warranty 
  • Affordable price 
  • Base plate available for sitting on hard surfaces 
  • Made from recycled plastic  

Wooden Kitchen Compost Container

Wooden Kitchen Compost Container

This is a traditional wooden compost bin having a capacity of 0.8 Gal. The quality of this bin generates fantastic compost. This is the best buy, especially if you are looking for a compact indoor compost bin that is efficient and does not produce any unwanted smells.

Why choose this product? 

  • Eco-friendly with an indoor composter.
  • Provide ample space
  • Composts food and fruit scraps, coffee grounds
  • Rustproof
  • Easy to Clean

So these were some of the best compost bins that you can go for. But composting is suitable for both the environment and the soil. You can choose either of the composting methods according to your preference. 

The Takeaway

A compost pile is a great way to maintain your garden’s health and keep harmful chemicals out of your environment. The proper ratio of green to brown is 3:1. This will allow the pile to turn into rich soil in two months while decomposing slowly so that it does not attract pests.

On the other hand, a compost bin is a container or a tumbler used to decompose the organic waste (both dry and wet) to produce fertilizers or manure. The aim of both compost pile and compost bin is the same. The difference lies only in the way the organic substances are decomposed.

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