The 9 Best Countertop Compost Bins of 2020

A stylish way to reduce waste

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The Rundown
"The 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."
"Reviewers rave about its 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."

Even the kitchen scraps we do 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. And 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.

Best Overall: VermiTek 1 Gal Kitchen Composter

With a stainless exterior that complements most kitchens, this bin is a popular choice, with good reason. It holds one gallon of scraps and has a replaceable filter to keep odors at bay. It’s also dishwashersafe, which is always a plus. At 9 inches tall and 6 inches wide, it’s a decent size but 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 company is known for its green gardening and composting products.

Read Next: The 9 Best Composting Services of 2020

Best Value: OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

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 (.75-gallon and 1.75-gallon), which are both budget-priced. OXO donates one percent 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

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

This petite bin, measuring roughly 7 ½ 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. Reviewers rave about its ability to control 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

If you cook a lot, you need something that won’t need to be emptied every five minutes. This countertop bin holds a generous 1.5 gallons 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. Some reviewers said they’d had the bin for more than five years, and it’s still functional.

Best Design: Gardens Alive! Ceramic Kitchen Compost Crock

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. It has a one-gallon capacity and comes with one replacement filter. The company has been around since the ’80s, focused on providing organic gardening and environmentally responsible products.

The bin is hefty, weighing more than 6 pounds empty—so keep that in mind if you need to lug it out to your compost pile every day. It’s also about a foot tall and 9 inches wide, so you’ll need to have decent counter space to accommodate its footprint.

Best Biodegradable: Bamboozle Food Compost Bin

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

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 US standards (they’re also certified compostable in Europe). Made in Italy from 100 percent 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 & Freeze Compost Bin

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 is 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).

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. And it’s dishwasher safe, which is a major selling point for most reviewers. The company was founded by four friends who wanted to create more practical and environmentally conscious products with longer life cycles.