where to put compost bin

The Best Place To Put Your Compost Bin (+ 7 Helpful Tips!)

One of the first things you’ll need to do after you decide to start composting is to figure out where to put your compost bin!

Composting is an easy, natural way to recycle food waste and yard trimmings into “black gold” that you can use in your garden. If you want to make compost quickly and with fewer problems, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing where to place your bin.

We’ll discuss them all here!

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compost methods

WHERE TO PUT COMPOST BIN: SUN VS. SHADE

Composting works best when your compost pile is exposed to both sun and shade. Too much shade, and the pile won’t get hot enough for decomposition to occur.

Too much sun, on the other hand, can cause excessive moisture loss from evaporation and make it difficult for microorganisms in your compost bin to do their job.

Ideally, your compost bin should be placed in a spot where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you don’t have a spot with the perfect amount of sunlight, go for the shadier spot. It’s better for your pile to have too much shade than too much sun!

KEEP YOUR BIN AWAY FROM WATER

When considering where to put your compost bin, keep in mind that compost piles must be kept away from any source of standing water. If your compost bin is in a spot where it’s constantly wet, the pile will become an ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

The next time it rains a fair amount, pay attention to any spots where water tends to collect in your yard. Then be sure to avoid putting your compost bin in that location.

COMPOST AT LEAST TEN FEET FROM YOUR HOUSE

It’s important to keep your compost pile at least ten feet away from your house. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • You’ll help prevent any critters from getting into your compost bin and then finding their way inside your home. Flies are notorious for this!
  • The risk of odor coming from the pile into your home is much greater if the bin is closer than 10 feet to your house.

…BUT ALSO NEAR THE HOUSE

While you certainly don’t want your compost bin too near your house, you also don’t want it to be too far. Ideally, it should be within an easy distance so you can easily toss food scraps and yard trimmings into it. If you’re always having to make a long trek out to the far regions of your back yard in order to dump compost, you’ll be much less likely to actually do it!

There are lots of ways to contain smells and pests, like flies, so don’t let a fear of those things stop you from putting your compost bin where it’s easily accessible.

PROTECT YOUR BIN FROM WIND

Excessive wind can cause problems because it dries out your compost bin. Just like too much sun, this can make it difficult for microorganisms to do their job.

If your yard is exposed to lots of wind, place the bin on a corner or edge of your property where it will be protected by walls or buildings. As mentioned above, avoid putting it near your house. But if you have a shed or a detached garage, that might be the perfect location for your compost bin. If there are no such structures in your yard that can offer protection from the wind, plant a hedge or small trees to act as a windbreak.

CAMOUFLAGING A COMPOST BIN

One of the biggest reasons that people in the suburbs avoid composting is because of the unsightly appearance of a compost bin!

Luckily, there are so many great ways to camouflage your compost bin. You can even make it look like an attractive part of your landscape design!

Here are some ideas:

  • Plant bushes around the pile or use lattice and vines to cover up the sides.
  • Put your compost bin in a spot where it’s completely out of view, like behind the garage.
  • Buy an attractive ready-made composter that looks good enough to be part of your yard decor! The Envirocycle Composting Tumbler is one great example.

These ideas will go a long way in making it possible to both be a successful composter and keep your neighbors happy!

OTHER OPTIONS FOR COMPOSTING

If backyard composting isn’t a possibility for you, never fear! There are some quite fantastic options for indoor composting, and even some responsible ways to dispose of your waste without composting at all!

  • Bokashi: This is a Japanese system of composting that doesn’t require any outdoor space. You can do it in a 5 gallon bucket that can fit into any nook or cranny in your home! Even better, there’s no risk of pests or odor with this method because the bin is completely sealed and air tight.
  • Vermicomposting: This is the process of using worms to break down organic matter. All you need is a container like this one, some bedding, and food (your kitchen scraps) for the worms.
  • ShareWaste: If composting is simply not in the cards at all for you right now, this is a neat program that allows you to share your food scraps with other people who have do have compost bins in their backyard. You can locate someone near you who’s willing to take your waste, and then drop it off at their house!

IT’S NOT HARD TO FIND THE PERFECT SPOT FOR YOUR COMPOST BIN

Don’t fret about finding the absolute perfect spot for your compost bin. If you choose a spot and find that it doesn’t work out, you can always readjust!

It’s better to begin composting in a less than ideal spot and make adjustments as you go, then it is to avoid composting altogether because you can’t find the perfect place for your bin. You’ll figure out how to improve things with time!

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