10 stylish countertop compost bins

Compost bins
© Cliff Spencer/Typhoon

Collecting kitchen scraps for composting is commendable regardless of your receptacle, but if you want to step up your bucket game, consider one of these.

Of course we can all have simple plastic buckets or recycled jars on our countertops in which to house our kitchen scraps before they head to greener pastures, and that's lovely. But that may not be fair to ask of those with more specific ideas of how they want their kitchens to look. If there is a good way to marry nice design with something as valuable as composting garbage, and if that can lead more people to be more conscious of their waste, then I’m all for it.

I am generally disinclined to suggest kitchen items designed with a single purpose – egg cookers and sandwich machines and all of their extended family from the as-seen-on-TV clan. Because once the novelty wears off, too many of these convenience contraptions get kicked to the curb. But with a composting bin I’m going to take that chance with the caveat that if your composting efforts prove to be a failure (though that would be a bummer) or you change your system, you can still use most of these for another purpose. (There's nothing wrong with a flour canister labeled "compost," right?)

So without further ado, cute composting bins:

Typhoon Compost Caddy

Compost bins© Typhoon Crafted from high-quality, color-coated steel, this bin from the vintage kitchen line has a (not-so-vintage) plastic liner for easy cleaning. This one uses a charcoal filter to keep odors under control. (Typhoon, from $37.99)

Noaway Countertop Compost Bin

stylish compost bins© Cliff Spencer Sustainability-centered furniture making studio Cliff Spencer uses offcuts of wood (like bamboo or walnut) from their shop and crafts them into mitered boxes with no shortage of organic-meets-modern warmth. There are a few styles, and each comes with a dishwasher-safe stainless steel pan and lid. This is a perfect example of a nice piece that could serve many uses if it were ever retired from a life of collecting organic waste. (Cliff Spencer, $125-$150)

OXO Good Grips Compost Bin

Compost bins© OXO OK, this is the kind of product that I might not generally recommend: a hunk of plastic with a single purpose. That said, I've never had an item from OXO Good Grips that wasn't designed very well. They make things that work and are durable – so I am including it here. But only if you are dedicated to composting and promise not to toss it in a year. Features include a nice size, quick-to-flip lid, smooth interior to prevent food and liquid buildup, contoured bottom and removable lid for easy emptying and an easy-to-handle rotating handle. (OXO, $19.99)

VermiTek Bamboo Compost Pail

Compost bins© VermiTek VermiTek is dedicated to composting and all of their products are designed with composting success in mind. Their bamboo compost pail has an air-vented lid with odor-eating charcoal filters and a removable plastic bucket for toting scraps and easy cleaning. (VermiTek, $37.59)

Rustic Compost Pot

Compost bins© Gardener's Supply Company This durable, powder-coated steel bin with a cute vintage feel gets great reviews. It's simple, easy to clean and includes carbon filters in case your scraps develop too much "personality." At five quarts, it's a tad larger than some of the other models. (Gardener's Supply Company, $29.95)

Boxy Bamboo Compost Pail

Compost bins© RSVP I like how bins in boxy shapes fit on the counter, and this one in bamboo looks pretty good. It holds 4.5 quarts and is equipped with a charcoal filter in the lid and a plastic liner with a carry handle for easy transport to its final destination. (RSVP, $37.59)

"Antique Enamelware" Bucket

Compost bins© Williams-Sonoma It's not really antique enamelware, but this bucket looks like it with its durable steel construction and rustproof powder-coat finish. One-gallon capacity and a removable plastic bucket. (Williams-Sonoma, $29.95)

Stoneware Compost Crock

Ceramic compost© Gardener's Supply Company For the homey country kitchen! This nice model is made of glazed ceramic and includes an activated charcoal filter for odor control. It's dishwasher-safe, has a one-gallon capacity, and looks as if it could be holding your sauerkraut, rather than your eggshells and carrot tops. (Gardener's Supply Company, $29.95)

VermiTek Stainless Compost Pail

Compost bins© VermiTek Another one from the compost pros VermiTek, this time in stainless steel. The polished stainless steel body and satin-finished lid are durable and will resist rust; a heavy handle makes it comfortable to carry and the pail can put into the dishwasher. (VermiTek, $32)

Tags: Composting | Kitchens

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