Q: I am looking for a small to medium size composter that would be easy to use for kitchen scraps and
some garden scraps. I need it to be easy to open (one hand if possible since the other will be holding
scraps); one that is not attractive to critters; and easy to turn. Is there a place I can find
A: According to Craig Everett, OSU Extension horticulturist and Master Gardener educator, there is no
easy answer to this question.
While small indoor composters as indicated exist, Everett says, "they do not work."
He suggests numerous problems with a container which is cranked or spun including the lack of oxygen
which is needed for the composting, development of mold and methane gas, and the fact they can get very
"Tumblers don’t work without oxygen," he noted as he mentioned the other problems associated
with an anaerobic system. "It looks good on paper, it just doesn’t work in a practical sense."
The most effective indoor type of composting involves a small container which uses red worms which work
their way from the bottom of the container to the top converting the waste into compost.
Everett says the obvious problem with this type of system, "Most people don’t want worms in their
He suggests the ideal situation is the old-fashioned outdoor 3 by 3 by 3-foot compost pile.
This traditional compost pile will get microbes from the soil or soil can be added. It will generate the
heat needed for the process.
Composting is an attractive way to use scraps and garden waste; however, it needs to be done properly.