The 9 Best Countertop Compost Bins of 2021

A stylish way to reduce waste.

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The kitchen scraps we have to toss — eggshells, coffee grounds, cantaloupe peels, and so on — can have a second life in your compost pile or at the nearest collection center. But whether you’ve been composting for years or are just starting out, you need a place to collect that kitchen waste (except certain things like dairy products, which you should never compost). Of course, you can keep scraps in an open bowl, but it’s not the prettiest countertop decor. Not to mention, food scraps get, well, rather slimy and smelly after a day or two. Countertop compost bins solve the problem by corralling your scraps, controlling odors, and making it easy to remember to be more conscious of your waste.

You may not love the idea of a single-use kitchen device; but then again, if you have a certain aesthetic in mind for your kitchen, an old jar or can full of stinky compostable materials that attract flies may not be an acceptable option to you. If a cute and useful countertop bin (especially if it lasts for years) makes it more likely that you’ll save the good stuff, then it’s likely not a bad idea.

Here are our top picks for attractive and functional countertop compost bins that help the environment.

The Rundown
The recycled stainless exterior complements most kitchens, and the replaceable filter keeps odors at bay.
Comes in two sizes, which are both budget-priced.
Discreet, simple, and handmade by a small Alabama woodworking firm that uses fallen trees.
Great ability to control odors while not hogging valuable countertop space in a small kitchen.
Holds a generous 1.5 gallons of kitchen waste, which means fewer trips to the outdoor compost pile.
This stylish ceramic bin actually looks good on your counter and doesn’t scream “this is full of stinky food scraps!”
Made of bamboo, a fast-growing resource that can be harvested without environmental damage, this bin is biodegradable.
Uses BioBags that are designed to be broken down by microorganisms that live in soil.
Can be stashed in your freezer until you’re ready to empty it into your own composter or take it to the collection center.

Best Overall: Prep & Savour Kitchen Composter

Stainless Steel Countertop Compost Bucket

Capacity: 1.3 gallons | Dimensions: 8.66 x 8.66 x 11.26 inches | Material: Stainless steel

With a stainless exterior that complements most kitchens, this bin is a popular choice, with good reason. It has a replaceable filter to keep odors at bay, and it also made of recycled metal. It’s also dishwasher safe (just remove the filter), which is always a plus. At just under 9 inches wide, it won’t hog the entire countertop, which is important in smaller kitchens.

Its carrying handle means you can easily stash it elsewhere, like under the counter, and cart it to the outdoor composter or bin. The manufacturer recommends replacing the filter every six months.

"You might be surprised by how well charcoal filters prevent smells. I've used this style of compost bucket in a communal kitchen where it wasn't emptied frequently, and even when a little mold built up inside the bucket, the odor didn't escape when the bucket was closed. If you empty the bucket regularly, you can get away with replacing the filter just once per year." ~ Margaret Badore, Treehugger Senior Editor

Best Value: Oxo Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin, 1.75 Gallons

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin 1.75 Gal

Capacity: 0.75 or 1.75 gallons | Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.1 x 7.5 inches or 7.75 x 7.3 x 7.6 inches | Material: Plastic

If you’re a neatnik, you’ll love the design of this bin. Smooth interior walls prevent things from sticking, and every single piece comes apart so you easily can rinse it out. The flip-up lid can be opened and closed with one hand. The bin comes in two sizes (0.75-gallon and 1.75-gallon), which are both budget-priced. OXO donates 1% of annual sales to environmental nonprofits, especially in the areas of sustainable food systems, cleaner air and water, and environmental education.

Best Splurge: Cliff Spencer for Alasaw Noaway Countertop Wood Compost Bin

Noaway Countertop Wood Compost Bin

Capacity: 1.5 gallons | Dimensions: 13 x 7.5 x 6 inches | Material: Walnut or magnolia wood and metal

If you’re looking for something that’s as pretty and stylish as the rest of your kitchen, this bin is the obvious choice. It’s discreet, simple, and handmade by a small Alabama woodworking firm that uses fallen trees, diverting them from landfills, to create furniture, cabinets, and small kitchen goods. The bins are made from walnut or magnolia, with a removable metal bin and lid that are dishwasher safe.

Best for Small Spaces: Minky Homecare Food Compost Caddy

Minky Homecare Food Compost Caddy

Capacity: 0.9 gallons | Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.3 x 6.9 inches | Material: Plastic

This petite bin, measuring roughly 7.5 inches square, tucks tidily in the corner better than a round container. It's made in the UK by a well-respected household brand. (Interesting aside: The company is a supplier of products to the Royal Household.) Its internal liner can be used with or without compostable bags.

The bin has a carrying handle and comes in basic white or pretty pastel shades such as green or pink for a splash of color. It does a good job of controlling odors while not hogging valuable countertop space in a small kitchen.

Best Large Capacity: Full Circle Breeze Fresh Air Odor-Free 1.5-Gallon Kitchen Compost Collector

full circle fresh air odor-free kitchen compost bin

Capacity: 1.5 gallons | Dimensions: 11.38 x 8.5 x 9.2 inches | Material: 95% plastic, 5% recycled steel

If you cook a lot, you need something that won’t need to be emptied every five minutes. This countertop bin holds a generous amount of kitchen waste, which means fewer trips to the outdoor compost pile. The design allows air to move through, slowing decomposition, which helps prevent odors. It uses compostable bags and has a push-button top so you easily can pop it open while your hands are wet or dirty.

Full Circle is committed to manufacturing products without harmful dyes or plastic, with an emphasis on making long-lasting products. This bin will be functional for many years to come.

Best Design: World Market White Ceramic Compost Bucket With Filter

White Ceramic Compost Bucket

Capacity: 1 gallons | Dimensions: 7 x 10.5 inches | Material: Ceramic and metal

This stylish ceramic bin actually looks good on your counter and doesn’t scream “this is full of stinky food scraps!” The creamy white color coordinates with most kitchens. Made from ceramic and featuring a metal handle, it fits with both a farmhouse style kitchen or a more minimalist decor.

It comes with one charcoal filter. The bin is heavy compared to the other buckets on this list — so keep that in mind if you need to lug it out to your compost pile every day.

Best Biodegradable: Bamboozle Food Compost Bin

Bamboozle Indoor Food Compost Bin

Capacity: 1.15 gallons | Dimensions: 7 x 6.25 x 9 inches | Material: Post-industrial bamboo fiber, melamine

How’s this for environmentally sound and ingenious at the same time? Bamboo fibers are ground into a fine material that’s molded into this bin. Bamboo, a fast-growing resource, can be harvested without environmental damage.

The resulting material is incredibly strong and dishwasher safe; plus, it’s biodegradable. The bin also uses replaceable carbon filters. Its sleek shape actually looks good on your counter, too.

Best With Bags: BioBag Kitchen Counter Compost Bucket

BioBag Kitchen Counter Compost Bucket

Capacity: 2.6 gallons | Dimensions: 9.25 x 10.5 x 9 inches | Material: 100% post-consumer plastic

This bucket-style countertop bin uses BioBags that are designed to be broken down by microorganisms that live in soil; in fact, the bags are ASTM-certified compostable to U.S. standards (they’re also certified compostable in Europe). Made in Italy from 100% post-consumer plastic, the container itself has a carrying handle and ventilated sides, so the moisture in the food waste evaporates instead of getting all squishy and leaving a watery mess on your counter.

The straightforward bucket shape also means it’s easy to rinse out without having to disassemble and reassemble a complicated design.

Most Discreet: Full Circle Scrap Happy Scrap Collector & Freezer Compost Bin

compost bin

Capacity: 0.59 gallons | Dimensions: 5.24 x 8.27 x 5.51 inches | Material: Silicone

If you don’t want to look at your scrap bin every day or if you simply have no extra space on your countertop, this container could be the answer. The bin can be stashed in your freezer until you’re ready to empty it into your own composter or take it to the collection center. That way, you don’t have to smell food scraps (or attract flies) and freezing helps speed up the composting process.

The wire clip allows you to attach to a kitchen drawer for filling, then clip it to a freezer shelf. The container’s silicone design, which flips inside-out, makes it easy to dump out and clean. It’s dishwasher safe, which is a major selling point for many people. The company was founded by four friends who wanted to create more practical and environmentally conscious products with longer life cycles.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for a countertop compost bin is the Prep & Savour Composter (available at Wayfair). If you’re willing to splurge, the Alasaw Noaway Countertop Wood Compost Bin is a truly beautiful minimalist object (available from Food52). 

FAQs

How do you use a countertop compost bin? 

Your compost bin is like a halfway point between the kitchen and your final compost pile. It’s a place to collect any peels, eggshells, fruit pits or other food scraps that you create while cooking and eating. Once the bucket is full, empty it into your outdoor composter, compost pile, or take the scraps to your community compost drop-off. It’s a good idea to give your compost bucket a good scrub with soap and water from time to time, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.

What can I put in a countertop compost bin?

Don’t put anything in the bin that you don’t want to compost, including meat, dairy or any pet feces. We also recommend avoiding any bioplastics, even if the label claims these materials are biodegradable. 

Do they smell bad?

We’ll level with you: If you don’t empty your bin regularly, some funky smells can build up. However, most bins are designed with tight lids and other features to help seal in any bad odors. If things are getting a little stinky, it’s time to dump your bin and wash it out. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

Here at Treehugger, we know that composting is a powerful solution to a number of environmental issues, and we want to help our readers compost successfully. To make this list, we looked for bins with functional designs, with special attention to products made from recycled or other eco-friendly materials.

Author Arricca SanSone specializes in writing about home, shelter, and gardening.