As part of our Composting Challenge, Bean Sprouts presents the top ten composting systems.
1. Pile up organic stuff in a heap and wait
PROS: cheap, easy, effective
CONS: takes up space, quite slow
2. Build a compost box, either make your own or buy it like this one from Wiggly Wigglers.
PROS: more aesthetically appealling than a heap
CONS: they can be quite pricey if you buy them, you need a suitable spot in your garden
3. Plastic compost bin, aka "dalek". You might be able to get a free or subsidised one from your council, visit the RecycleNow website to find out.
PROS: even tidier than a compost box, quite compact
CONS: you still need a garden or at least a patio
4. Tumbler, such as this one at Just Green.
PROS: supposed to be faster than a dalek, sounds quite good fun
CONS: space again, and are they easy to turn when they're full or do you have to be quite strong?
5. Green Cone
PROS: can compost cooked food, meat or fish, bones, dairy products which other composting systems can't deal with
CONS: They're not cheap, you need a garden with some earth as half of the system is buried underground.
6. Leaf mould composting. There's a video about it here
PROS: make something useful out of fallen leaves, very easy
CONS: you need enough leaves to start with, takes a long time
7. Bokashi, an effective microorganism (EM) that speeds up composting incredibly. Here is the system sold by Wiggly Wigglers
PROS: very quick, can compost in a sealed bin indoors
CONS: cost, you have to keep buying the bran impregnated with EMs.
8. Trench composting - basically fill a trench with organic waste, cover it over, and plant on top. There are instructions on how to do this at Instructables
PROS: Cheap, you can combine this with the bokashi method by adding some EM impregnated bran to the trench to speed up composting
CONS: All that digging is hard work, you need a garden you're willing to dig up so maybe not suitable if all you have is lawn and flowerbeds
9. Wormery, such as these from Wormcity
PROS: some systems are suitable for indoor use, good if you don't have large volumes of compostable waste
CONS: if you get it wrong the worms can die, some people are squeamish about worms
10. Compost toilet, like these from NatSol
PROS: recycle your own humanure, modern ones look just like normal toilets
CONS: A lot of people might feel this is a step too far, you've got to remove the compost at the end of the process
If you decide to try one of these methods, please vote in the poll in the right hand side bar.