Garden Composter Converter Bins UK Reviews
An Affordable, Neater Method for Composting
Thanks for taking the time to read our reviews and buying guide for the best garden composter converters, which are more commonly known as garden compost bins. When it comes to doing your own composting for your own garden at home, then you have a few choices available to you. These are:
- Buy compost from a local garden centre or a store
- Make your own compost heap
- Make your own compost using a compost converter type of bin
- Make your own compost using a tumbling composter.
Buying Your Compost
The simplest and easiest method is to get in the car, take a trip to somewhere like B&Q or your local garden centre, and buy a few bags of compost. That is simple and straightforward, and it is the choice of many people living in the UK. A 70 litre bag of multi-purpose compost will cost around £15-20 depending on which brand you decide to go for.
The manufacturer has worked out the right balance for the compost so you don't really need to think too much about that side of things. Depending on the condition of your soil you may need a few bags and that is where the bought option can get expensive enough.
Making Your Own Compost
Most homes will however have food waste and garden waste. Food waste includes things like coffee grains, egg shells, trimmings etc. Garden waste includes cut grass, trimmed hedges and even small weeds and dead flower heads. By combining these, and then mixing them and making sure they have warmth and air, you can make your own rich compost.
Doing that is known as traditional composting and gardeners have been doing this for years.
The Compost Heap
The most common one for years was the simple compost heap. This is where you just mix the different wastes together in a heap. Some gardeners have built a wooden frame to keep the waste in one place and under control. The disadvantage of this is that it needs to be turned regularly, can start to smell and is also pretty unsightly.
The Compost Bin
For all of the three reasons just mentioned, many gardeners prefer to use a compost bin. That does look a great deal tidier in the garden. It also has the advantage of retaining heat.
The Tumbling Composter
This a more automated option for making compost. This is simply a bin, and more usually a barrel, that you can turn or tumble to mix the wastes together. It is a much better option as you don't need to worry about turning the wastes with a fork.
You simply spin the bin and allow the compost to form.
Why Pick a Compost Bin?
In this article we will be reviewing the top 5 compost converter bins currently available on the UK market. Before doing that we want to take just a little more time to explain why some gardeners prefer the bin method to anything else.
People buy these for a variety of reasons. These include:
- They believe they are doing their bit for recycling and helping the environment
- These work really well for making good quality compost cheaply
- Some buyers don't want to pay extra to their local authority by way of a charge on top of my council tax (some councils have increased the price of their refuse collection rates
- Some people just got fed up buying compost all of the time
- Buyers like to use these at their allotments
We have included a detailed buying guide down below. However we understand that some of you may not have the time to read this information. Therefore we have included just below, a table of the top 5 rated compost converter bins
Top 5 Buyer Rated Compost Converter Bins
The table below shows you the best rated of these on the UK market. We have included the brand name, the composter capacity, an average RRP, and a buyer satisfaction rating. We have included buyer satisfaction ratings, and also what buyers said, as these give the best indication of which the best composting bins really are.
Garden Composter – Made in Europe
Denny International Compost Bin
Geezy Store Garden Compost Bin
Blackwall 220L Composter Converter
Whitefurze 220L Compost Bin
In almost all cases you should avoid paying Recommended Retail Prices (RRP) as you can normally find these cheaper online.
Garden Composter – Made in Europe 300l
90% buyer satisfaction based on 3,000+ online buyer reviews.
This is a dual composter and makes mixing easy and efficient. At the early stages simply turn the composter 5-6 times every 2-3 days.
This composter has wide openings and a removable door. That makes it quick and easy to add scraps/clippings and also to remove finished compost.
As it is dual there are two separate sides allow the first side to finish while leaving the second side available to add fresh scraps/clippings.
The capacity is 37 gallons (5 cu ft) or 168 litres.
This is made from BPA free UV inhibited recycled polypropylene. The galvanized steel frame is corrosion resistant
Blackwall 220L Composter Converter - Green
86% buyer satisfaction based on 500+ online buyer reviews.
This is the Blackwall composter converter and it is available in the green shown to the left or in black if you prefer that colour. The bin is 100 cm tall, 70 cm in diameter and at the top the diameter is around 50 cm
It has a removable front hatch for easy access. It is also really easy to set up and maintain according to buyers.
The bin itself is made with recycled plastic
It has the standard push fit windproof lid
You can buy a base plate for this but is an extra and doesn't come as standard.
Whitefurze 220L Compost Bin
82% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyer reviews.
A strange name we agree and certainly no a shy name. This one is however extremely well made and as the manufacturer states, "it is built like a tank." You can buy this one in a black colour and believe it or not in a startling pink colour.
It is made from food safe, BPA free, rust free materials and will not fade under the sun's UV rays. This is an outdoor composting system that combines a compost tumbler drum with a compost tea maker base.
The drum rotates on top of the base to create solid compost, and if you choose to do so, the base allows you to collect the excess liquid from the drum as compost tea, a precious liquid fertilizer.
Composter Converter Bin Buying Guide
There are really four choices when it comes to making your own compost at home. Those are:
- A plain old fashioned compost heap
- A compost converter bin like the ones shown above
- A tumbling composter
- A dual composter.
Tumbler Options Available in the UK
1. The Compost Heap
Many UK gardeners stick with the compost heap but they are unsightly and they do require a lot of work. They can also attract rats and mice, and if the heap is close to the house that is never a good thing, especially if there are kids around. They also take quite a lot of manual work, and need to be turned regularly.
2. Composter Converter Bin
The bins that we have described above just tidy that whole process up and remove the need to have to worry about rats and mice. You can easily make your own compost at home, and these are reliable and sturdy. They are also easy to set up and best of all they are the most affordable solution.
3. Tumbling Composter
Many buyers like these as they really do take most of the manual work out of composting. The key benefit though is that as you can rotate this, it takes the back breaking effort out of the whole process.
With any type of heap, or slatted compost box it is almost inevitable that you will attract rodents. The tumbling compostor is off the ground, is made from hard plastic, and the lids seal really well. That keeps rodents at bay.
They hold heat, allow air in and with the right commercial starter, you can have high quality compost in 1-2 months, depending on the climate.
4. Dual Composter
The simplest way to describe these is that there are two bins on the composter. You can then let one bin cook and fill the other bin with fresh materials. That means you will have two lots of compost being prepared, and they will be ready at different times.
The two bins rotate separately and that gives you full control over the composting process. These are good for what is termed "batch composting." They are very user friendly as you can fill one side with kitchen and yard waste. When that is filled you stop and allow it to ferment. At this early stage you can then turn the bin every few days.
While that batch is fermenting you add your kitchen waste and garden waste to the other bin. You then simply repeat the process.
Where to Locate Your Compost Bin?
These bins do work better without a base as the soil underneath helps convert the compost, and you also get the benefit of worms. That is why it is better to avoid setting it on solid ground such as paving or slabs.
It is also ideal to have it in a place where it can avoid strong winds such as beside a fence that helps break the wind.
However, we believe the most important thing in terms of location is making sure that you have quick and easy access to the bin. You don't want to have to walk long distances or want to have to struggle to get access when it is raining cats and dogs. If you use a wheelbarrow for hedge and grass cuttings then make sure there is easy access for that.
What Can You Put In Your Compost Bin?
You can actually put quite a lot of things into your compost bin. These include:
- Any material of plant or animal of living origin
- Vegetable peelings
- Grass mowings
- Leaves in small quantities
- Junk mail, cardboard egg boxes, the inside tube of toilet and kitchen rolls, kitchen paper, (always crumple up paper and cardboard before placing in the bin
What Can't You Put In Your Compost Bin?
There are some items that can not be put in a compost bin:
- Tin - can be recycled
- Plastic - can be recycled
- Glass - can be recycled
- Diseased plants - should be burned
- Used cat litter
- Meat scraps
- Cooked food
Essentially the items that you can put into your compost converter bin can be divided into:
You need a mixture of both.
Greens are your typical grass cuttings and vegetable peelings from the kitchen. These tend to rot really quickly.
Browns are the stalks and shrub like material that is drier and that you may have cleared from your garden such as leaves. These take longer to break down but are great at getting air into your heap which is important.
Straw, paper, wood shavings etc are also classed as browns.
You should mix browns and greens in equal amounts and in layers. If the mixture in the bin looks dry then add some water to that.
Chunky or long material should be chopped up, and if you have a shredder, then that is even better as that will do the works.
Push the material in and push down firmly and then replace the lid.
It takes about 6-12 months before you will see your first compost.
Video On How to Use a Composter Converter
If in any doubt as to how these work, check out the 10 minute video below, where everything is explained.
THE DIY VERSION
If you have an old plastic barrel, you can of course make your own. As you can see these are nothing more than a plastic bin with a lid and a hatch. You can quickly make a hatch at the bottom with a saw and fit a couple of hinges.
You will want some type of lid though to keep the heat inside the bin, and to keep any unwanted animals out.
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I trust that you found the information provided here useful. For me I already know the benefits of making your own compost. It saves you a lot of money, is just nice to be able to do it, and one of these just makes life that little bit sweeter.
Thanks for visiting our UK gardening website which is made to help any beginner gardener. Many people enjoy their garden and our tips and advice are all written to help you get the most out of your outdoor space.
The website team are a group of experienced gardeners who share useful information and we were all beginner gardeners at some point. Enjoy!
- Enda mclarnon