Anyone who avidly gardens appreciates what a blessing it is to have a fresh supply of rich, soil-enhancing compost available at all times. This is where tumblers and spinner-type backyard composters really prove their worth, as they can typically process a load of kitchen scraps in a matter of weeks. When properly protected from the elements, composters even work well outside in the wintertime! This is certainly more attractive than the old “bin-and-pitchfork” method, which usually takes months to reach the finished product, stops working in the cold weather, and involves lots of extra labor.
The following reviews are of three uniquely different approaches to compost tumbler/spinner designs. Although none are entirely without flaws, each represents the best in overall attributes in it’s class.
The compact, space-saving design of this tumbler is probably it’s finest feature. At only 26″ long and 30″ tall, the Envirocycle is perfect for people with either small gardens or limited living space. The heavy gauge BPA-free, UV resistant plastic construction is very sturdy and solid. An added bonus is that the base can collect up to 2.5 gallons of compost tea, which is wonderful for fertilizing potted house and garden plants.
- Comes with a 5 year limited warranty, and
excellent follow-up service after the sale.
- Easy to move – just roll it off it’s base!
- Uncomplicated two-part design that makes for
simple clean-up and maintenance.
- The latch on the access hatch can be tricky to open at times.
- Makes single batches of compost only – you must wait a few weeks before adding more material.
This tumbler features rust-proof galvanized steel sheet metal, and has a maximum capacity of 9.4 cubic feet, which makes for a lot of compost! The large size (50″ tall and 44″ wide) makes it perfect for big families, school projects, or even restaurants! The well sealed and insulated dual-chamber design gives you the ability to have a year-round, continuous supply of compost. Also, it comes with a wall mount set-up for added location options.
- Has a very large capacity.
- You can compost outside – even in winter!
- Comes with a full 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
- The wall mount arrangement does not include the necessary mounting screws.
- Kind of pricey – but you get a lot for your money.
Ease of use is the main selling point of the Spin Bin, as it has access hatches at either end of the tumbler. Even though it has a rather large capacity, these dual hatches make a fine system for adding even small scrap additions to the bin. With a 32″ x 26″ base, and 45″ tall, this composter is fairly compact. It has a total of 20 ventilation slots for optimal air and liquid (compost tea!) drainage. The “flipping barrel” design tends to mix scraps more thoroughly than other tumblers, due to the overall length of it’s travel.
- Has a heavy ribbed interior for better mixing.
- Sturdy, powder-coated steel support legs.
- Comes with a 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee.
- Attractive price.
- Lack of insulation gives it somewhat limited outdoor use.
- Does require assembly.
- Due to the bin length, removal of finished compost can be kind of awkward.
It should be noted that if you intend to keep any plastic-constructed composter outside exposed to the sun for any length of time, it is wise to find one that is both UV ray and antioxidant-resistant. Plastic will degrade remarkably fast if not protected in this manner.
All of these composters will do an admirable job of turning your humble kitchen scraps into garden pay-dirt – just be sure to match their individual features to your particular needs before buying. For example, if space is at a premium, the Envirocycle is a good choice, but if you’re on a tight budget, the Spin Bin is the most affordable of the bunch. If producing tons of compost is the plan, then the Jora is what you need. Whichever one you decide on, you’re sure to reap the benefits of a steady supply of garden-boosting compost!